12:26 PM: As noted in our daily previews, a student-organized protest march is happening right now. It’s organized by 8th-grade students from Denny International Middle School, who say they “want to publicly make a statement that we as students want stricter gun laws to ensure that we no longer must live in fear of gun violence.”
This announcement details their route. Hundreds of students are participating, using sidewalks; they’re along 35th now, turning onto Trenton.
12:44 PM: They’re now gathering on the field at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (which is across Thistle from the Denny-Sealth complex).
1:40 PM: We just left the stadium as the rally was wrapping up after more than half an hour of impassioned student speeches – some as simple as “Enough is enough!”
2:38 PM: More photos added above. Before the rally concluded, we talked briefly with two of the organizers, Addison Whited and Hazel Simper.
This was entirely student-organized, stressed Denny principal Jeff Clark, who was monitoring the event and told us, “We’re very proud of our scholar leaders, but this is their event.” In email, the student organizers said these are proposals they’re specifically advocating for:
-Waiting periods after purchase
-More thorough background checks
-Responsibility laws (parents are responsible for kids using their guns)
-Methods to report unsafe gun users effectively
-Close gun loopholes(Gun shows/Boyfriend/Charleston/Hate crime/and patchwork law gun loopholes)
-Must enforce license for open-carry firearm
-New gun safety tests to allow access to firearms (especially parents and kids)
-Police having stricter access to guns
Speeches at the stadium were open-mic-style, with students lining up for turns.
One asked, “How many more dead kids will it take for people to pay attention?” Another promised they won’t stop advocating until change happens. From another: “I believe in freedom … the freedom not to be in a dark room wondering if this is a drill or the real thing.”