Keene community members of all ages rallied together on March 24 to speak their minds on the issue of gun control.
The March For Our Lives Facebook page said, “In the wake of the Parkland, Fla. shooting it is time for Americans to stand and demand gun control.” For many at the event, there was one goal and that was to stand up against gun violence, but for each person at the event, there was a different reason as to why they felt it was important to attend.
Member of the New Hampshire Senate Jay Kahn was a speaker at the rally who said over the past few weeks he has been in a debate with other members of the senate regarding the control of firearms and local control. Kahn said he was glad to see such a wide range of people of all ages from around the Monadnock region. Kahn said school shootings are something that happens in New Hampshire and the discussion on gun control is one that is important for America to be having. “School shootings happen in New Hampshire. We know that because seven years ago, the Walpole Elementary School student walked into the cafeteria with a gun and shot himself in the head,” Kahn said at the rally. He added students should not be in a position where they have to witness or be hearing about school shootings. “The trauma is real and the cry for action is real,” Kahn said.
It was not just senators who took the chance to speak to the crowd. Keene High School students also shared their thoughts on the issue of gun control. Keene High School student Rachel Scott spoke at the March For Our Lives event and said, “I would like to address everyone who is saying children shouldn’t be leading the way to gun control. Have you ever seen your friends or classmates, the people you love be carried out in body bags? Were you ever scared to go to school because you didn’t know if you would make it until the end of the day?”
Scott added the rally isn’t trying to ban all guns but instead rallying to make it harder to buy a gun. “We’re rallying because we don’t think guns that can shoot 600 rounds in a minute should be available to the public,” Scott said.
Sophomore Katelynn Kaimi said the issue of gun violence and gun control is a movement that she feels is important and wants to be apart of the movement.
“I was very emotionally moved. There was a grandmother who got up and said, ‘I’m a Kindergarten teacher and I have grandchildren that age who are practicing which corner to go to,’ and she started crying and after she got off. I had to give her a hug and thank her for sharing that. Going there and hearing the stories made me want to become more involved because it gave me that emotional call to action,” Kaimi said. She said she plans to become more active in the stand against gun violence by writing letters to those in government positions.
Kaimi said she feels as though no matter which side of the argument someone falls on, it is important to be active in the community if they want to make a change.
Kaimi said, “If you want a change then it’s not going to happen unless you partake in it and that’s kind of been my motto about anything.”
Colby Dudal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org