Kevin de Leon

Southland Students Walk Out For Anti-Gun Violence Events

Thousands of Southland students took part in another national school walkout Friday in support of tougher gun laws and safe campuses as they marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.

Organized student gatherings were held at many campuses, including open-microphone forums and discussions with local elected leaders, while other students marched along streets and hundreds of kids gathered on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall.

More than 2,100 events where held nationally as part of the National School Walkout.

"We are walking out for those who lost their lives to gun violence, to talk about the real problems our country is facing and to find solutions (for) the problems that our leaders have failed to address," organizers said.

The walkouts occurred at 10 a.m. on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which left 12 students and one teacher dead, in addition to the two gunmen.

At Cleveland Charter High School in Reseda, hundreds of students gathered in the campus quad for a voter-registration drive and to call on government leaders to act on gun control.

"We need to see changes in our government to prevent mass shootings from happening," student organizer Jacob Zonis told ABC7. "We're talking about banning assault weapons, banning bump stocks, universal background checks. We're talking about no-fly-no-buy, to end people who are on federal no-fly lists from being able to purchase firearms. Ultimately what we want are safe schools and a safe nation."

At Dorsey High School, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, and School Police Chief Steven Zipperman took part in what they called a "walk-in," speaking to students about safety and legislative issues on gun control.

"I'm proud of the activism, whether they're walking in or walking out," Bass said. "I thought it was a great creative idea to have a walk-in, and I'm happy to participate with them."

At Los Angeles City Hall, hundreds of students gathered in a mass demonstration calling for legislative action on gun control. Many chanted slogans and waved signs with slogans such as "Protect Our Future."

Similar events were held at schools from Culver City to the San Fernando Valley to Santa Ana.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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