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Dozens rally outside Mississippi State Capital calling for an end to gun violence and stricter gun safety laws

Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Whether it was expressions with their artwork or expressions with their voices, dozens of teachers, students, and concerned citizens from all over the state say they’re fed up with the senseless violence happening throughout the country and in schools.

That’s why they gathered for a rally outside the Mississippi State Capital, calling for an end to gun violence.

It’s all a part of the nationwide “March for Our Lives Rally,” which is a student-led movement.

This comes after last month’s deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“We need more than just symbolic action. We need more than just thoughts and prayers for my fellow clergy leaders and faith community leaders, we need action,” said Pastor Lorenzo Neal of New Bethel AME Church in Jackson, and a Senior Fellow with the EveryTown Survivor Network.

“I think it’s important that young people bring their voice to these platforms because that’s how lawmakers will see there’s a real need for change here,” said Advikaa Anand, who’s with MOMS Demand Action.

Anand is one of the young people leading the rally, calling for a change.

“Silence leads to violence when it comes to gun violence here in the United States,” she expressed.

She believes lawmakers can, and should, do more to put stricter gun laws in place in the country.

“Just common-sense gun safety laws,” she explained. “Making sure that guns don’t get in the hands of those who are going to use them for evil purposes, making sure that the kinds of guns in stores are safe and not military equipment.”

“This is bipartisan. Everybody, no matter what party or ideology you have, knows that we need to end this, we need to prevent this, and get on board,” said Neal.

Throughout the two-hour long rally, people took to the podium one by one, joining in on the fight for gun reform, demanding something be done sooner rather than later.

“We’re just asking for some moderate action towards making sure what happened in Uvalde never happens again.”

“We want to prevent as much gun violence in schools, in communities, everywhere,” said Neal. “We want to prevent it as much as possible. Everybody needs to feel safe where they are. They should be able to go to the grocery store. They should be able to go to church. They should be able to go to school and not be afraid.”

The “March for Our Lives” organization was first formed after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, back in 2018.

Along with the rally in Jackson, there were also two others in Tupelo and Oxford.

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