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Don't Shoot!

  • Published in Local

Hundreds of thousands show up to encourage increased restrictions on firearms

Mothers across the country showed up in D.C. to protest and demand greater gun control after recent shootings at several schools, including a high school in Maryland. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKMothers across the country showed up in D.C. to protest and demand greater gun control after recent shootings at several schools, including a high school in Maryland. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hundreds of thousands of students made their voices heard in the nation’s capital Saturday to demand action on gun control from the nation’s policymakers, in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14.

“We stand at a moment when our nation’s laws are guided not by what is right or wrong, not by what is morally sound for the many, but is instead limited by the insatiable greed of a few,” said Matt Post, one of the speakers at the event and student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “In their greed, the gun lobby and their politicians have tried to deflect and distract us, they’ve tried to twist what is so clearly a gun issue into anything else but we won’t fall for it.”

Hundreds of thousands of attendees – which included both students and adults – urged that their elected officials take legislative steps in an effort to curb mass shootings.

“Use efficient regulation that doesn’t make any exception, close the cracks and loopholes with thorough background checks and psychological evaluation, protect our schools like we do our other government establishments, use security protocol methods that are efficient, and one more request: listen,” said Sam Fuentes, a survivor of the Feb 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida., speaking from the stage.

Students traveled to the event from around the region.

“I’m protesting the fact that our government is doing nothing to help keep us safe and help us feel safe, it’s not fair,” said 14-year-old Emma Goodman from Silver Spring. “I’m proud of my generation because we’re speaking up … a lot of us are too young to vote but we’re still making a difference.”

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Four local religious communities take part in interfaith rally prior to march

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Three hundred people from three churches and one synagogue in Bethesda gathered Friday night for song, prayer, camaraderie and a Mexican dinner on the eve of Saturday’s March For Our Lives.

Members of Congregation Beth El, Bethesda United Methodist Church, Saint Mark Presbyterian Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church, who most recently joined together in an interfaith gathering following the suicides of two area high school students, reunited for Friday night’s interfaith event to talk about their feelings on gun control and school safety as well as make friends and find ways to get to the march demonstration in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Greg Harris of Congregation Beth El explained that participants came “to advocate together. This is the essence of what it means to be a resilient community.”

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Montgomery County residents participate in national March For Our Lives

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Local students and teachers were among the thousands of people participating in the March For Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C.  PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZMontgomery County students and teachers were among the thousands of people participating in the March For Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZ  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Parents, children, students, and teachers from all over Montgomery County rallied at the nation’s capital for the countrywide March For Our Lives demonstration in response to the increasing outbreaks of gun violence across the United States and calling for more attention to current gun control issues.

“I am marching today to proclaim that the culture of violence must be over and that assault weapons need to be banned. I want my daughter and their whole generation [to know] no matter what race you are, what class you are, our society deserves safety,” said Kolya Braun-Greiner, a 62-year-old Takoma Park resident, whose daughter currently attends The Siena School in Silver Spring. Braun-Greiner wants kids “to be able to walk the streets, to be able to go to school, to study with the freedom that they are not going to be shot down. All of this needs to stop, we have to put an end to the gun violence.”

While plenty of adults were present, young people attended the march in vast numbers. Students from various Montgomery County high schools participated in events including attendance of a pre-rally by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and speaking at the march.

“Montgomery County kids have definitely been a huge part of this,” said Elana Tobb, 17, a senior at Sherwood High School. “This is the first time that I think our county has really been involved in a [leadership] position with something like this.”

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