Monday, March 26, 2018

Rural Kentucky community, site of recent school shooting, holds March for Our Lives rally, calls for gun safety

Saturday's March for Our Lives was one of the biggest youth protests since the Vietnam War, with at least 1.2 million participants across the U.S. and other countries protesting gun violence and school shootings. Rural kids marched too, but some focused more on gun safety rather than gun control.

The March for Our Lives rally in Marshall County, Kentucky
(Photo by WKMS-FM, Murray, Ky.)
Marshall County High School in Western Kentucky was the site of a deadly school shooting in January; students at the school organized a march and several spoke. Other speakers included Alonzo Pennington, a musician and hunting guide running for Congress as a Democrat. He opposes bump stocks because it "makes your gun inaccurate and it makes it malfunction," he told Camila Domonoske of Murray's WKMS-FM. He thinks restrictions on high-capacity magazines are sensible because "If you're too lazy to load a smaller clip, then you don't need to be taking the time out there and hunt anyhow."

One student who spoke was Makayla Wadkins, who said that society's propensity for blaming the mentally ill for school shootings makes it less likely for people struggling with mental illness to get the help they need. Other students called for legislative change. "After the shooting, Gov. Matt Bevin called for a day of prayer. President Donald Trump said his 'thoughts and prayers' were with the victims. Students at the rally said that's not enough," WKMS reports.

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