Student-led marches for gun reform attract GC participants

Student-led marches for gun reform attract GC participants

NATHAN PAULS

Staff Writer

ntpauls@goshen.edu

Millions of people marched together to advocate for tighter gun regulation this past Saturday. These marches came as a response to the recent school shootings in the United States, spurred particularly by the shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida, which took the lives of 17 people.

A variety of marches took place on March 24. The main march took place in Washington D.C. with featured speakers such as singer Miley Cyrus, Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez, and Martin Luther King’s granddaughter Yolanda Renee King. Sister marches took place in Chicago and Goshen.

Jace Longenecker, Student Senate treasurer, was approached by students at Bethany Christian School about the opportunity for Goshen students to travel to Washington D.C. in a bus with Bethany students. Student Senate made sure to advertise the opportunity to GC students.

Although no GC students went to D.C. on the Bethany bus, there were a few students that went to D.C. on their own accord, two of those being Katie Baer and Reed Yoder.

Both brought different perspectives to the march in Washington, as Baer has been to many marches, while this was Yoder’s first.

Baer described the D.C. march as “a really humbling, powerful experience” and the crowd conditions as “shoulder to shoulder for hours.”

At the march in Washington, there were many speakers, all who were under eighteen years of age. Speakers included survivors from the Parkland, Newtown, and other school shootings that have happened in the past.

Yoder described that it was hard for them to find parking, and they eventually had to settle for a spot that was far away from the starting point of the march.

But as soon as they got out of the car, they were, according to Yoder, “instantly in the march, we were enveloped by it,” despite being far out from the starting point.

Another two GC students, Clara Unzicker and Mariah Gingrich, attended the rally and march in Chicago.

“It was just a really amazing experience to be surrounded by so many people who felt so passionate about this issue,” said Unzicker. “And we’re just equally frustrated by this problem that we have that isn’t being resolved.”

Gingrich also described the presence and leadership of youth, commenting that “the whole thing was organized and put on by students.”

Longenecker, who attended the Goshen march noticed a similar theme at in Goshen.

The march had a positive energy to it and was facilitated and led by students, according to Longenecker. The adults that were present were there in a supportive role.

The march started at the Goshen High School and then continued from that point and ended at the courthouse in downtown Goshen.

“These are things people in Goshen have been thinking about for awhile,” said Longenecker. “And so there’s some excitement that comes with a movement touching on issues that people already care about a lot.”

Olivia Copsey, a junior, was also at the march in Goshen and during her time there, was able to promote a poster that she had worked on to support March for Our Lives.

The poster is of a stylised photo of Parkland shooting survivor Gonzalez with the words “I call B.S.” reading along the bottom of the 12 by 18-inch poster.

The words are altered from Gonzalez’s quote “we call B.S.” from a speech she gave in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Copsey created the posters because she wanted to do more than just march for the cause.

“I took what I know how to do and made it work for me so that I could feel that I was contributing in that way” said Copsey.

Copsey also plans to take photos of people holding a sign with the phrase “I call BS” on it for $10.

The money she makes off of both the poster and the photos will go to the Every Town Movement, which works to build safer communities by fighting against gun violence.

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