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Students Plan To Keep Rallying For Gun Control

Will James
High school students led a 'March For Our Lives' rally through downtown Seattle on March 24, 2018

Crowds have cleared since this weekend's rallies against gun violence, but students leading local demonstrations say they have no intention of stopping.

High school students led a long column of marchers through the heart of Seattle Saturday, more than a month after a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, set off nationwide demonstrations for stricter gun laws.

“We’re out here now, and this is about a shooting that happened on February 14," said Maya Christianson, a freshman at Garfield High School in Seattle.

"People always say, ‘We can’t talk about gun legislation until the bodies are cold and buried,'" she added. "And, guess what? They are now and we’re still out here."

High school seniors at the march, who are on the cusp of voting for the first time, talked about swamping ballot boxes in coming elections.

"People are going to forget, but we're going to keep on reminding them," said Elijah Lewis, a senior at Rainier Beach High School, who said the march has motivated him to vote.

Some marchers called for stricter controls on assault weapons and criticized the National Rifle Association.

But Gregorio Avalos, a senior at Chief Sealth High School, said, to him, the march was also about gang violence in neighborhoods like his, in South Seattle.

"It's not just the school shootings we have to be worried about," he said. "It's also about the shootings that happen in our streets."

Younger students, like Christianson, spoke of keeping the protest movement alive even though they're years away from voting.

She pointed to a planned student walk-out from school on April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting 19 years ago. 

Will James is a former KNKX reporter and was part of the special projects team, reporting and producing podcasts such as Outsiders and The Walk Home.