Hundreds marched in Carbondale for stricter gun laws

Hundreds marched in the streets of Carbondale (Source: Mike Mohundro KFVS)
Hundreds marched in the streets of Carbondale (Source: Mike Mohundro KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro KFVS)

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Hundreds marched the streets of Carbondale as part of a nationwide movement to end violence at schools and to be more strict on gun laws.

This event, like many across America, is a response after a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people last month.

The Carbondale March For Our Lives event had people from many parts of Southern Illinois including many high school students as well.

People gathered in Downtown Carbondale to make a statement that more needs to be done to protect children in schools as they demand action with gun control.

Before the march, we talked with some adults that felt there needed to be a ban on guns to help keep them out of the classrooms.

"We've got to get rid of them, especially the AR-15s," Nancy Cottom said. "They are so deadly. If we could just put a ban on those, just that alone could save lives. That's what I'm kind of hoping for at least to get some of those AR-15s out of the way."

Even students we talked with said there have been too many shootings at schools across the country and that is constantly on their minds.

"It is a worry that every day someone could get angry and they could come and take it out on us because it is very easy to do so still," Carbondale High School student Arina Martin said. "It is a worry. It's always in the back of your mind because we've practiced so many practice lockdown drills that it's kind of second nature."

Martin even said that it is now becoming more difficult to focus on her studies in the classroom.

"It's a worry to go to school because you're always thinking about it," Martin added. "While your thinking about it you don't always get to pay attention as much because you're thinking about what will I do if I had to go into a lockdown drill."

The people marched down the streets carrying an assortment of signs such as "Am I next?, Save our children, and books, not bullets" to name a few and also chanted during their march.

Along their route, few people who opposed heckled the group while others who drove by in their vehicles honked to show support for their march.

One man we spoke with said he was there to watch, listen and learn about the group. While he agrees to safer schools, he feels there need to be more answers as to how to stop gun violence rather than just taking away the guns from the people.

"Tell us what you want to do," Mike Maurizio said. "A violation of my second amendment rights is not going to protect them because my gun is not going to hurt them. And, I'm not going to give my gun up. And if that's what they're wanting then we are really diametrically opposed. But I don't know that that's all they want. I think most of them just want to say, 'what are we going to do? How are we going to control this?'"

Overall, Maurizio said he agrees with making schools safer but not the way they want to get there with stricter gun laws.

During the event, pamphlets were given out to students that were there to encourage them on how to do their part in getting their voices heard in their own area, plus informing the students of what happened in recent shooting events across the country.

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