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March For Our Lives Rallies At Houston City Hall

Student activists from March For Our Lives joined local organizations and Santa Fe survivors to rally against gun violence

Houston City Hall was a gathering place for activists against gun violence on Sunday.

That was the latest stop in the March For Our Lives: Road To Change bus tour. Student activists joined with other organizations, including Orange Generation, Mi Familia Vota, Students Demand Action, Moms Demand Action, Pantsuit Republic Houston, Texas Gun Sense, Black Lives Matter Houston, Fiel Houston, and Indivisible Houston.

“It can no longer be acceptable for a kid to get shot on the street, or in school, or in a movie theater, or a place of worship, or anywhere!” said activist Emma Gonzalez, on the steps of Houston City Hall on Sunday. Gonzalez is one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors, in Parkland, Florida. The February 14 shooting left 17 students and staff members dead.

Survivors and family members of the May school shooting in Santa Fe also joined protesters pushing for change.

“I felt the weight of May 18 when I came to the realization that my last memories of high school were ones of fleeing, fear, and bloodshed,” said Bree Butler, a survivor of the Santa Fe High School shooting. Ten people were killed.

The bus tour is also meant to be an opportunity to register and activate young voters – even if they don’t have the same views on gun control. 

Student activist David Hogg, also a Parkland shooting survivor, tweeted they have been reaching out to people with different views, as well. 

KHOU photojournalist Nathan Kvinge described how one interaction between people with different points of view appeared constructive.

March For Our Lives activists having an open dialogue with “Open Carry Texas” activists in Houston, on July 9, 2018.

On Sunday, members from the group, “Open Carry Texas,” organized across the street, at Tranquility Park, in a counter-protest.

“We need to provide safety for students without trampling on the Second Amendment, which can be done,” David Trives told local TV station KPRC.

Matt Deitsch, of Parkland, Florida, is travelling with the bus tour. He said he’s engaged with several counter-protesters nationwide, in an effort to educate and understand each other. 

“Even though we don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of these issues… we do agree on solutions to gun violence that we know would work together, and we’d both be happy with,” said Deitsch. “I think it really shows why this political system is failing us right now. Because, if we could have this conversation, and it works, and we come to a solution, and we have the senate majority leaders saying that there are no solutions… they should be reaching out to us at these protests and ask us what we thing the right thing is to do. Because, we came up with these things together, through long conversations from different worlds.”

He explained the March For Our Lives group says it is pro-Second Amendment. “Because, we’re standing up to stop gun violence. We’re not trying to stop guns. We’re trying to stop these dangerous, violent people from having incredibly easy access to fire arms,” said Deitsch. “And so, we talk to people about that… and we just have a conversation with what the Second Amendment means right now, and what’s happening in the country…. And we really do break down these walls.”

The next stop on the tour: San Antonio. 

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