Nebraska students, parents rally for ‘commonsense’ gun laws as bill nears passage

Second Amendment

Norah Hodge had a dance class the same day a shooter walked into a dance studio in California thousands of miles away and killed 11 people.

“I couldn’t believe people were killed doing what they loved and expressing themselves,” said Hodge, a fifth grader at Woodbrook Elementary School in Elkhorn, referring to the massacre in Monterey, California, in January.

And when 19 children and two teachers died in a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last May, Hodge realized that one of the students who died was her age.

Rally for Gun Sense, 4.6

Fifth graders Norah Hodge (left) looks on as Bryn Pick speaks during Rally for Gun Sense on Thursday at the Capitol.

Since those shootings, there have been more and yet lawmakers aren’t doing anything to fix the epidemic of gun violence, said Hodge, one of the dozens of people — students, parents, concerned citizens — who rallied outside the state Capitol on Thursday in support of “common sense” gun legislation.

People are also reading…

The demonstration comes a day after students across the country walked out of class to demand action on gun violence and more than a week after a shooter killed three students and three staff members at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.

It also comes as a priority bill — from state Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon (LB77)  that would allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit — nears a final vote in the Legislature before heading to Gov. Jim Pillen.

Rally for Gun Sense, 4.6

Jean Mertz of Lincoln (left) and others clap for a speaker during Rally for Gun Sense on Thursday at the Capitol.

“We know this bill will make our communities less safe and is the wrong step for Nebraska,” said Conestoga senior Jayden Speed with Nebraska Students Demand Action, a student-led group that helped organize Thursday’s rally along with Nebraska Moms Demand Action and Nebraska Against Gun Violence. “We want our lawmakers to prioritize commonsense gun laws.”

Speed said he was approaching his freshman year in high school when 17 people were killed in a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

He was struck by the fact that schools were a target in the gun violence epidemic, that students have to go to school and worry about whether or not they’re coming home. Now, gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are fed up,” Speed said.

Lincoln Sen. Jane Raybould, who spoke Thursday, said LB77 is a “Trojan horse” bill that would harm law enforcement and prevent local governments from regulating firearms. Raybould said Nebraskans are in favor of background checks, regulations on licensing and storage and restrictions on high-capacity assault weapons.

Rally for Gun Sense, 4.6

Sen. Jane Raybould of Lincoln speaks during Rally for Gun Sense on Thursday at the Capitol.

“Enough is enough,” she said.

Bryn Pick, a fifth grader at St. Cecilia’s Catholic School in Omaha, said she and her classmates shouldn’t be afraid to go school. She also said she doesn’t want teachers to be armed. According to police calls from the Covenant shooting, staff members carried guns for security. 

“Guns have killed so many people, but we’re still letting this happen,” Pick said. “Protect kids, not guns.”

For Elkhorn fifth grader Hodge, there are many ways people can do just that.

“We can show up to more rallies, we can write letters to our lawmakers,” she said. “We can be louder than a gunshot.”

Contact the writer at or 402-473-7225. On Twitter @HammackLJS

Source link

Articles You May Like

Inflation is severely limiting Americans’ freedom
‘Clearly unconstitutional’: Federal judge overturns California’s ‘high capacity’ magazine ban
US President Biden sets up White House office on gun violence prevention
Would-be burglars armed with ‘billy club’ pick the wrong farmer to try to rob: ‘I will shoot’
Hochul Swipes at Clarence Thomas as Supreme Court Weighs Challenge to Empire State Gun Law

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *