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Over a hundred gather for March For Our Lives rally in Memphis

Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 8:24 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - At Robert Church Park in Downtown Memphis, well over a hundred braved the sweltering Saturday heat to rally and march for more gun regulation across the country.

The rally is a response to the string of mass shootings that have taken place across the U.S., most recently the deadly elementary school shooting in Uvalde, TX.

“All of us are tired of watching community after community lose their families and friends, and all of us are tired of being scared that we’re next,” said Sophia Overstreet.

Overstreet and Cayla Roach were the two youth organizers of the March For Our Lives rally in Memphis, Overstreet a rising senior at Houston High School and Roach a freshman at LeMoyne Owen College.

“When you think about the Buffalo shooting, (the shooter) was only 18,” Roach said. “He was able to purchase a gun. I’m 18, and I don’t feel comfortable knowing that I can purchase a gun.”

The notion of raising the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, which has been floated before some Federal lawmakers, is something we asked Roach about.

She isn’t necessarily for a raise in the age requirement but more of a requirement in the education that goes into being a safe gun owner.

“I think a lot of times when you want to talk about how we stop things, we should start things at the root of the issue and start teaching what it means to be a responsible gun owner and how to own a gun,” she said.

Already on Capitol Hill, the House passed a red flag law - largely on party lines - that would allow guns to be confiscated from individuals that are deemed “dangerous” by a Federal court.

That bill will go before the Senate, but its unclear if it will pass.

The two organizers do agree that universal background checks is a solution lawmakers should put into law.

“The laws aren’t strict enough,” Overstreet said. “The backgrounds aren’t universal, and that lets things like this keep happening.”

After impassioned speeches were given by both organizers, the group took to Beale Street, marching for their lives in the very literal sense.

They believe their collective voice of this group, along with others across the country, will reach the ears of lawmakers.

With a mid-term election on the horizon, the hope is some will listen.

“Our power is at the ballot, and we will vote,” said Kenny McGruder, who participated in the march. “Those who support us, we vote them in. Those who are not, we vote them out. It’s through our vote, and these demonstrations show that we’re serious.”

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