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Students rally for gun control at state Capitol

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Capitol Building, Lansing, MI

High schoolers, lawmakers, and concerned citizens held a rally at the state Capitol today. They want changes to the state’s gun laws.

The rally comes the week after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where students and staff members were killed.

“We’ve been working day after day since the shooting, said Kalamazoo Central High School senior Talia Edmonds. "And we are trying so hard to actually make a change, to actually let people hear our voices because we have been silenced time and time again, after shooting, after shooting, after shooting. And so now we’re here trying to make a change. We’re standing by the kids in Parkland.”

Several Kalamazoo students created an online petition for what they call a “comprehensive and responsible gun control policy.” It has received more than 100,000 signatures.

Speakers at the rally demanded so-called “common sense” regulations – like a ban on assault weapons and stricter background checks.

State Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Huntington Woods, is a co-founder of the Gun Violence Prevention caucus. He says in the past he’s run gun control bills by fellow lawmakers – they said they had to check with the National Rifle Association.

“They’re putting the gun manufacturers profits over the value of the lives of our children, which is wrong,” Wittenberg said.

The Republican Senate Majority Leader says he’s concerned about student safety and what can be done by the Legislature to support schools. 

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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