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Thousands rally in Lansing for gun control

Cheyna Roth

Marches for stricter gun laws happened all across Michigan and the U.S. Saturday.

About 2,000 people walked from the Hall of Justice to the State Capitol, carrying signs and chanting.

Their message was simple “Our kids aren’t safe, and that needs to change.”  

How free are we if we’re too afraid to go to the mall, to go to the movie theater, to go to school? How are we free if we’re too scared to live?” 14-year-old Cydney Jenkins said. She's the North Farmington High School student who organized the event.

In February, 17 people died in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Since then there’s been an increase in threats reported at schools across Michigan. Police say they’re taking every threat seriously.

Kayden Moore is a 6th grader in Jackson. He loves math and science. And he’s had to do active shooter drills at his school.

“It’s kind of scary ‘cause sometimes you don’t know if it’s happening or not,” says Moore, “Sometimes they tell you if it’s a practice, but sometimes they don’t.”

Marissa Thaler is an elementary school art teacher in Waverly, Michigan. She was at the march with her two young kids. She says the frequency of school shootings has been “awful.”

“The other day a door got slammed, and my first thought was a gunshot. And then my second thought was, I can’t believe my first thought was gunshot,” says Thaler.

The students and advocates marched for gun control laws. They want things like a ban on assault-style rifles and extensive background checks before someone can buy a firearm.

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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