Local Students Look To Keep Public’s Attention on Gun Safety Issues

Local Students Look To Keep Public’s Attention on Gun Safety Issues

Montgomery County teens organize letter-writing campaign, town hall events

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Students sat in silence outside the White House during a gun control demonstration last month.

Bethany Rodgers

The massive student demonstrations on gun safety have died down for the time being, but the fight goes on for young people in Montgomery County.

Members of MoCo Students for Gun Control, the coalition that helped rally about 2,500 teens to march on D.C. last month, are hard at work planning several events.

“We still are doing a lot. We’re doing stuff on a smaller scale now, and even if it’s not going to get as much publicity, we’re not lowering the pressure,” said Dani Miller, a junior at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac and a member of MoCo Students for Gun Control.

The group is coordinating a gathering in front of the White House from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday in remembrance of the Columbine shooting 19 years ago, she said. And members are also working with another group, Students Demand Action DMV, on a letter-writing initiative to press for congressional action. The students have gathered together correspondence from across the nation and plan to deliver the letters urging action on gun violence to members of Congress on Friday, Miller said.

She said the organization also wants to host a town hall featuring Gov. Larry Hogan. The details haven’t come together yet, but Miller said the plan is to provide a platform for questioning Hogan about his position on gun issues. If Hogan doesn’t accept the invitation, the students will ask his Democratic opponents in the gubernatorial race to participate, she said.

Students from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda are also pulling together a town hall meeting on April 22. Katie Bittman, a high school sophomore at Stone Ridge, said U.S. Reps. John Delaney and Jamie Raskin are slated to speak at the event, which will run from 4 to 6 p.m. at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda.

The event will focus on gun safety issues but does not have a specific political agenda, she said.

“We’re advertising it as nonpartisan to make sure we can reach as many people as possible,” she said, adding that her school is not sponsoring the event. “We wanted to make sure it didn’t seem like a discussion pushing for gun control. Rather, it was an open discussion about the issue of guns in America.”

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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