Students in Central PA rally for gun control and safer schools

LEWISBURG, UNION COUNTY (WOLF) -- “We as a country have failed those students.”

Ariane Raymond remembers the moment this past Friday when she learned 10 people were shot and killed inside a Santa Fe, Texas high school.

She was sitting in her own high school’s cafeteria in Milton with several fellow classmates.

Their reactions – all too familiar.

“We are numb. Our generation has seen this so many times that we talk about it and we’re so deeply hurt, but it doesn’t surprise us anymore. I don’t think I was surprised, I think I was more angry than anything – that we let this happen again,” Raymond, a sophomore at Milton High School, said.

So she and her friend Nick Jacobson, a junior at Lewisburg High School, started thinking about what they could do.

Inspired by the survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, they organized this ACT NOW rally today on Market Street in Lewisburg, to stand with students in Texas.

But also to let lawmakers know they mean business about passing stricter gun laws.

“Its just absolutely tragic that my peers feel like this is how life is. So we’re here today to say this is not how life is! This is not normal existence, and its not something that can’t be fixed, and that’s why we want our legislators to act now to fix it,” Jacobson said.

Students from all over Central Pennsylvania were invited to join in today’s rally, and some even took to the microphone to send their own message to lawmakers.

“Why has it taken so long for our legislators to protect our lives? Its not a difficult thing to realize that people are dying and that there’s something we can do about it and they don’t care,” Katie Jacobson, an eighth grader, said.

Shannon Eaton says the possibility of a school shooting happening at her own school is always in the back of her mind.

She wants to become a diplomat or politician to make sure no other student has to endure those fears.

“There’s people who don’t have a voice, and I can use that voice of mine. I’ve been in theatre, I’ve been in performances before, but I’ve never done this, and I realized that this is more important than being on stage for me and I can make history and not just tell it,” Eaton, a senior at Sunbury Christian Academy, said.

Gun control advocates plan to wear orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2. A ceremony honoring victims and survivors of gun violence is planned from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Soldiers Memorial Park in Lewisburg.

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