Activists rally in downtown Raleigh for an end to gun violence

11 June 2022

— Today, in hundreds of places around the country, people gathered to demand their leaders do something about gun violence.

One of those large crowds was in downtown Raleigh.

They told WRAL News if people listen to what they are calling for and what they are not calling for – they believe they can get really something done.

The crowd stretched across the grass on Halifax Mall.

On a weekend when Laura McDow should be celebrating.

“I graduate tomorrow,” said McDow.

She instead, organized this gun violence rally outside the state legislative building.

“I think it is wonderful. I think it is amazing – I wasn’t expecting this many people,” said McDow.

McDow works with March for Our Lives, a youth-led movement to end gun violence.

Like so many, the deaths of elementary school students and teachers in Uvalde, Texas rocked her.

“It is so horrible,” said McDow. “That one hit me pretty hard.”

She thinks it is moving a lot of people who say, “If they can’t be safe, we can’t be free.”

Raleigh-Apex NAACP president, Gerald Givens knows about loss to gun violence.

“I lost my grandfather, my uncle, my brother and three cousins,” said Givens.

He thinks there are steps lawmakers can take – that voters on both sides of the issue might agree with.

“We are in a public safety crisis,” said Givens. “Any firearm made for the military, should not be sold to the American public.”

McDow said the movement is not about taking people’s guns away.

“It is truly about keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have access to them. I think people are starting to grasp that,” said McDow

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