Rally at Capitol calls for gun reform

Event organized by Minnesota Students for Change part of national school walkout


Avia Kaner-Roth

Students from various schools hold posters advocating for gun control. Students walked out of school to protest the cause April 20.

Sofia Seewald and Isabel Kjaer

According to freshman Talia Lissauer, working to improve issues you deem important is vital to getting problems fixed.

“My mom has always said, ‘if you find something that you don’t think is right, then you should do something about it. Don’t just sit back and watch it happen’,” Lissauer said. “She pushed me towards participating in the rally and encouraged me to go and I liked it, so I’ve been going to a lot of different events.”

According to freshman Eden Swartz, the rally for gun control April 20 at the Capitol had a goal to bring gun safety to the public eye, as well as show how young people can influence political debates.

“The rally was organized by MN students and the purpose was to draw more attention to gun safety,” Swartz said. “Most of the speakers’ topics were about drawing awareness to the problem and how the youth can make a difference and that we have a say.”

According to freshman speaker from South High School Isra Hirsi, she chose to participate in the rally in order to prevent dangerous situations in her community.

“I personally chose to be in the rally because I don’t want anyone in my community to be shot, or anybody in my city, especially in the area that I live in,” Hirsi said. “I just didn’t want that to be something that happened to anybody that I knew personally.”

Lissauer said speakers at the event were attempting to spread awareness for gun control and increase the number of people interested in the problem in order to make ground with improvements.

“They had people speaking at the rally about what it meant, what the whole movement was about and are just trying to get more people involved so they can get a larger number because you can’t really get anywhere without a bunch of people,” Lissauer said.

Hirsi said the rally was not pushing any specific agenda or points, leaving the protests fairly open to many ideas and views.

“The event wasn’t strictly on gun control and on gun violence so our group wasn’t trying to push any agenda, and our demands were pretty inclusive and we wanted to make sure that we advocated for all communities,” Hirsi said.

According to Lissauer, the diverse group fighting for change was inspiring.

“The rally was actually amazing because there were so many different people of different races and different genders that were all there for the same purpose,” Lissauer said.

Hirsi said her speech concerned the difference in attention to issues regarding white people and people of color.

“I was one of the speakers and one of the organizers,” Hirsi said. “My speech was about how the movement is usually putting white voices over people of color and others’ voices and how a lot of the people in the crowd show up for one thing and then completely disregard anything else, especially when it comes to brown and black voices.”

Swartz said the goal of this event was to bring the issue more attention and to help put in place more regulations on gun control. She said students could help by spreading awareness or attending events like the rally.

“Long-term, I hope that this can draw attention from the government and get them to put more rules and regulation on guns,” Swartz said. “I think students could tell people about things like this happening and spread the word and they could go to events like this and draw awareness to it.”

Hirsi said she believes there should be a bill to lower gun violence in Minnesota and the country. She hopes to put politicians in office who support the movement’s cause and what they believe in.

“I hope that next session there’s a bill introduced to decrease the gun violence in the state,” Hirsi said.

“Maybe even a federal law could be made to make sure gun violence doesn’t happen so often and to make sure that, with elections coming up, to make sure to put the officials who we don’t want out of office and to put people in office that support our issues.”