Students lead march in Raleigh, demand stricter gun laws

Elaina Athans Image
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Students march in Raleigh for vigil, calls for more gun control
Students march in Raleigh for vigil, calls for more gun control

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Hillsborough Street was shut down so dozens of people could march to the State Capitol and demand lawmakers take action on gun control.

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The march was organized mostly by Wake County students.

One shouted at a rally, "We shall never stay quiet as long as injustice prevails."

Protesting teens said that weapons have led to intolerable pain for families and permeating fear for communities.

Cary High School freshman Celah Jenssen says the Parkland shooting touched home for her.

"I was reading text messages from people who were in the shooting to their parents, and I just started crying because it's so scary and it's so sad," Jenssen said. "I can't even imagine what I would do if I was in that situation."

She now has anxiety going to class.

"Some mornings I wake up and I just don't even want to come because I don't know what's going to happen," Jenssen said.

Some clergy members are joining the cause and said they believe lawmakers owe the public change.

"The longer that we keep putting off any kind of legislation, students are dying in our schools," said Pullen Memorial Baptist Church Youth Pastor Bryan Lee.

Another had a message for US Sen. Thom Tillis and NC Senate Leader Phil Berger.

"Tillis and Berger can't keep tweeting out prayers and condolences to gun-violence victims while funding your political campaigns with NRA money," said the Rev. Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.

There were 17 candles, one for each Parkland, Fla., shooting victims, were left outside the Capitol to remind lawmakers the tragedy easily could have happened in North Carolina.

North Carolina is creating a special group to ensure students and teachers are protected at school. House Speaker Tim Moore announced the formation of a bipartisan House Select Committee on School Safety.