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Stateside Podcast: The parents on the other side of the phone

APTOPIX Michigan State Shooting MSU campus
Paul Sancya/AP
A student kneels where flowers are being left at the Spartan Statue on the grounds of Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A gunman killed several people and wounded others at Michigan State University. Police said early Tuesday that the shooter eventually killed himself. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

On the night of the shooting at Michigan State University, students faced four hours of a shelter-in-place order. During that time many students were in communication with their parents; texting and calling them. On the other end of the phone, parents had to manage their own fears while reassuring their children.

Kelly Dillaha was one of those parents. Her twin sons are juniors at Michigan State University.

"[M]y son texted a picture of how they had barricaded furniture against the doors and window of their apartment and asked my husband if he thought it was going to be secure enough to hold anyone back and if there was improvements they could make to how they had barricaded," Dillaha said. "And that was kind of the low point of the evening because you're trying to remain calm as a parent."

On the Stateside podcast, we talk with Kelly Dillaha and another parent, Jennifer Norber, about their side of the lockdown and the change they want to see.

Dillaha and Norber are part of the stateside coalition End Gun Violence Michigan. They are also part of the progressive women's group Red, Wine & Blue. They advocate for gun safety reform like, universal background checks to buy a firearm. While the organization was pleased to see the recent gun bills that were introduced to the Senate, they say the bills don't go far enough.

"[The bill] does address some of our issues. It doesn't address all of them that we want to see. So this is a good first step," Dillaha said.

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Mercedes Mejia is a producer and the Director of Stateside.