Voices from March For Our Lives

After school shooting after school shooting, thousands of people marched through downtown Raleigh demanding gun reform. We talked to several attendees about why they joined March For Our Lives.

Larry, Addie and Stickman of Helping Hand Mission

Larry, Addie and Stickman of Helping Hand Mission

“Schools are supposed to be a safe place besides a church. It’s supposed to be a safe place to be there. Right now, we ain’t safe nowhere to tell you the truth.”
 — Larry
“It’s time to make a change. The same ol’ stuff can’t keep happening and happening like it’s OK.”
 — Addie
“We are against all gun violence in the schools supporting stuff like that and come out or do something about to promote non-violence and peace in the community.”
—Stickman
Juliana and Cary

Juliana and Cary

“Violence all around just sucks. Anyway to prevent it, even the smallest acts, is better than nothing. I think it’s incredibly empowering to see everybody here all together. I don’t think I’ve ever been in an area with such a big crowd like this. This is insane. This is definitely not going to be a first time thing. I’m definitely going to come back.”
 —Juliana
“It never really registered that lockdown drills were something unusual. It was how school worked. You did your fire drill. You did your tornado drill and then you hid in the closet crumbled into a ball under a table. I never really considered that was horrifying that honestly we even had to be doing that. It’s so ridiculous that this is even an issue in this country. It’s so obvious what the solutions are that I don’t know what the way to progress is other than yelling really fucking loud til someone starts listening.”
—Cary
Carter, Connor and Wil

Carter, Connor and Wil

“I feel like you can’t miss out on opportunities like this any time you can voice your opinion and state your beliefs and get to just participate in something like this.”
—Carter
“Earlier this week there was a report of a suspicious person on State’s campus. It’s very disconcerting that your school isn’t a safe place. You tend to think it’s your home. It’s a safe place. I have nothing to worry about. You’ll hear things about school shootings and suspicious people and it gets rid of the illusion of safety.” 
—Connor
“Everything always feels like a tipping point, but I guess this last tipping point was one where a lot of action is being taken. It felt right to get involved with it.

“Growing up it didn’t seem out of the ordinary to have lockdown drills, fire drills and tornado drills. I actually always thought lockdown drills were fun, because you got to play the game where you’re really quite and you hid in the corner while the lights were off.” 
—Wil
Anjali, Jiten and their daughter

Anjali, Jiten and their daughter

“When we went to school, this was not anything that we had to. I never even thought about it. I never worried about it, since she knows what happened last month in Florida I figured if she knows she should be a part of this.

“A march is one thing but one of the points of the march was to encourage people to vote and I hope that was done today.” 
—Anjali
“We’re just upset about the gun violence we’ve seen in the country and want to affect some change.

“I was actually at a high school where there was a shooting and a single person got shot. I am aware that it happens and could happen. I’m obviously worried about it for our kids.” 
—Jiten
“Usually they make us hide under the desk. We turn off the lights and put the black thing over the doors or if we have lab tables we hide under there and crowd there in one spot.”
—Daughter
A police officer takes down signs saying it is litter as protesters observe.

A police officer takes down signs saying it is litter as protesters observe.

Joan and Mary

Joan and Mary

“My one child is in college and the other child is still in high school. They have to do shooter drills. It’s crazy that they have to hide and pretend somebody is shooting at them. And that’s normal.” 
—Joan
“I’m fed up with having to go through my entire school career with having to participate in code red lockdown drills and hearing about mass shootings in schools all across the nation and in other schools as well. It’s ridiculous. I just can’t watch it happen anymore.

It’s inspiring, motivating the momentum that picked up with Parkland. It’s interesting. I’m very glad that people are very serious about this, especially young people because we are the future. We have to do something.

I’m ready to vote.” 
—Mary
Issue NC