The Daily Evergreen

‘Protect us, not guns’

Students, teachers, parents demand action on gun violence

Young+girls+hold+signs+at+a+protest+for+stricter+gun+control+in+Moscow+on+Saturday+afternoon.+
Young girls hold signs at a protest for stricter gun control in Moscow on Saturday afternoon.

Young girls hold signs at a protest for stricter gun control in Moscow on Saturday afternoon.

MICHAEL LINDER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

MICHAEL LINDER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Young girls hold signs at a protest for stricter gun control in Moscow on Saturday afternoon.

BRE SEARING, Evergreen reporter

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Hundreds of people of all ages gathered at the Friendship Square in downtown Moscow, Idaho, to protest gun violence in wake of recent school shootings.

A small marching band played music as people started to gather and organizers handed out signs which said, “March for Our Lives” and “Students Demand Action”.

“No adults are talking about the issue of gun control,” Megan Kaus, an Idaho public school student, said. “It is up to the kids of this generation to initiate the change”

She also hopes Saturday’s march will create more forward momentum in creating a peaceful future by restricting gun access.

Hundreds of thousands of students like Kaus took to the streets of cities nationwide as part of the March for Our Lives movement to demand legislative change to prevent gun violence.

Molly Pannkuk, a teacher at Moscow Elementary School, was one of many who handed out signs and said she believes it is important for people of all ages to get involved with this cause.

“People on both sides of the issue need to find common ground on the topic of gun control and legislative reform needs to take place to keep students safe,” Pannkuk said, “and arming teachers is not the solution.”

From the Friendship Square, the march proceeded down Main Street and turned on East Third Street to East City Park where protesters rallied, a live band performed and organizers gave speeches.

MICHAEL LINDER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN
Students and Moscow residents gather to protest for stricter gun control Saturday afternoon.

Palouse Proactive, a local non-partisan organization, had a booth set up where people could register to vote.

Palouse Proactive member Kimberly Carper wanted to bring awareness to the fact that people under the age of 18 can register to vote as long as they turn 18 before Election Day. Carper said it is important for young people to register to vote because it is how they can create change in causes that are important to them and that directly impact their lives.

Donal Wilkinson, a member of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, had a table set up at the rally with preprinted letters to Congress to extend the Brady background check to all gun sales.

He said the Brady Group is dedicated to cutting gun deaths in America and that they advocate for changing social norms and educate about the real dangers of guns.

“I push for legislation that would establish a universal background check, because almost 22 percent of gun sales do not require any background check,” Wilkinson said as he handed out fliers with details of legislation the Brady Group supports.

Sara Hawreliak a mother of three kids in the Moscow School District, said she vividly remembers the tragedy of the Columbine High School massacre and hated feeling helpless watching the news reports.

Following recent shootings, she wanted to participate in the march and raise awareness of gun violence.

“I hope that this generation of voters will join together and take action so that kids don’t have to worry about feeling safe at school,” Hawreliak said.

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‘Protect us, not guns’