Hillcrest Park hosted over 50 demonstrators affiliated with March for Our Lives, an organization dedicated to ending gun violence on Saturday, June 11. In the wake of events including the Buffalo supermarket shooting and the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the march held a tone of urgency that was reflected on many of the participants’ signs.
Demonstrators holding signs with images of assault weapons being canceled out marched along Harbor Boulevard in front of the park and received much support from passing cars.
Similar marches took place today in the nearby cities of Anaheim and Santa Ana, and across the country. Local resident Amy Styffe said she hopes the support seen at the march will “turn a tide,” one toward stricter legislation over the civilian use of guns. Along with Styffe, demonstrator Linda Gardner explained the march’s emphasis on policy change, noting that “thoughts and prayers” would not be enough to address the gun violence that has overwhelmed Americans in recent years.
Lacey Tygenhof, a local occupational therapist heading to the march, said the purpose of the march was to support “common-sense gun legislation to keep citizens safe and free from [the] terror of gun violence.”
This attitude was shared by many other participants in the march, including Cindy Calisher who said that it is the duty of both citizens and government officials “to keep weapons of war out of the hands of civilians.”
One of the youngest attendees, freshman Noemi Maciel of Troy High School, joined the march in hopes of encouraging other students to support causes against gun violence as firearm-related deaths have remained the leading cause of death of children and adolescents in the United States since 2020. Marching with her sign that read, “schools are for learning, not lockdowns,” Maciel proposed that schools should look to facilitate more discussions centered around gun violence and gun safety. Yet, she hopes that these conversations wouldn’t be limited to the now common practice of active shooter drills.
Although one counter-protester was present and carried out intimidation tactics including filming and taking uninvited pictures of demonstrators, the march was overwhelmingly peaceful. As Fullerton resident Helen Higgins said, “It takes us. If we don’t show concern about what’s going on, politicians are going to ignore the issue. So, it takes us to press our officials into action.”
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