Teen survivors of the Parkland school shooting had some advice on how to stop gun violence for hundreds of people who attended a rally Monday evening at the Jack Reardon Civic Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
Persons of all ages, including teens, were in the audience. The March for Our Lives group is traveling across America, talking about gun safety in different cities. They are sponsoring a voter registration drive.
Three Parkland survivors appeared at the event today, with teens from Greater Kansas City and the Chicago area on a panel.
One Parkland survivor said he recognized the value in listening to people with different opinions on the gun issue. He said he thinks there needs to be more extensive background checks of people who buy guns.
He supported universal background checks on gun sales, to block people who have been domestic abusers from buying guns. Currently, people who buy guns from a licensed dealer undergo background checks, but this effort would require background checks in private sales.
He also supported Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research into gun violence as a health issue. Most gun violence deaths have been in the United States, and it’s a health hazard, he said.
He also called for the digitalization of ATF files, to trace guns back to owners.
There are 10 policy points being advocated by the March for Our Lives effort, he said, which will save lives. Some of the other points are banning high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds; a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles; funding for programs that address the root cause of violence; implementing extreme risk protection orders to remove guns from those experiencing a crisis; a federal law to stop gun trafficking; and requiring gun owners to safely store guns and report gun thefts.
Another student on the panel today said she wanted to change the laws to make sure youth do not have easy access to guns at home. She urged calling representatives and senators, asking them to support requiring registration of guns, to know who has easy access to them.
Another student favored a law that would take away the guns of anyone making a threat to another person.
Another student also discussed gang violence, and suggested that it was occurring in communities where there is a lack of activities for youth. He also mentioned the need for the basics, such as food, in some communities.
The March for Our Lives group had a voter registration table set up in the lobby, which had recorded “double digits” of people registering to vote, said a youth working at the registration table.
The crowd loudly applauded when a student said they should vote out candidates such as U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, who received a lot of support from the National Rifle Association.
Strict security measures were in place for those attending tonight’s gun safety rally, including security checks with hand-held wands and registration with wristbands.
Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James appeared at the rally today. Also among those attending the rally today were Jay Sidie, a Democratic candidate for U.S. representative, 3rd District; State Sen. Pat Pettey, D-6th Dist.; Kansas State Board of Education Member Janet Waugh; Monsignor Stuart Swetland, president of Donnelly College; Scott Mackey, who has been active in Wyandotte County Democratic politics; and David Smith, chief of public affairs for the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools.
For more information about the March for Our Lives program, visit https://marchforourlives.com/.