In the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year, Bloomington-Normal students are still working for change.
Students from various high schools in the area will be rallying for stronger gun laws alongside community members Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Uptown Circle, on the anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.
Normal Community High School sophomore Yossra Daiya is among the organizers of the rally. She said on GLT's Sound Ideas the goal of the rally is to keep the conversation going.
“I think we just need to keep this going. We don’t want it to be a moment. We don’t want another school shooting to happen, have its five minutes of coverage and then end. We want this to become a movement and keep it going while we still have the momentum to do it,” Daiya said.
Daiya said students are lobbying for mental health and background checks, the banning of automatic weapons and raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21.
“We’re not trying to get rid of the Second Amendment,” Daiya said. “We’re just trying to make the world safer and we feel like (gun) restrictions are necessary to do that.”
Normal Community freshman and rally organizer Aditi Sharma said protests alone aren’t enough to make a change, however.
“Change comes really slowly. It’s not going to be like, ‘Oh there’s been this many protests, let’s do something,'" Sharma said. “We have to do more than that. We have to get people out there and voting.”
The League of Women Voters will have a table set up at the rally for people to register to vote.
There will also be a workshop at Normal Public Library next Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. in the community room to teach people how to contact lawmakers in a productive way and register people to vote. Sharma and Daiya said they are also hoping for a town hall meeting and a dialogue with lawmakers May 6 in the auditorium at Normal Community High School.
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