SAN ANTONIO – Survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida are calling for change and trying to find common ground with gun activists.
Young people impacted by gun violence are holding town halls from coast to coast as part of the March For Our Lives Road to Change, a two-month tour.
The panel of eight included local teens and their peers from across the nation. The group is calling for action at the ballot box to change gun policy, saying they are not for taking people’s guns away, but rather for preventing gun violence.
Gabi Antuna attended the event. Antuna has been involved in local marches and demonstrations calling for change.
“I think people are becoming more politically involved and becoming more educated I think it’s amazing, it's truly inspiring,” she said.
Across the street from La Trinidad Church, where the town hall was held, gun activists stood armed.
Open Carry Texas legislative director Rick Briscoe said he understands the effort and anguish that motivates the survivors, but doesn’t agree with their message.
“They don’t understand what a really bad job government has been doing,” he said. “Their efforts are misdirected. Law-abiding citizen with guns are not the problem.”
He said passing more restrictive laws is not the solution.
Clinton Vitousek says some laws may be needed.
“We do need some gun control, but only in regards to mental health issues," Vitousek said.
Antuna said the only way to make the United States safe is by working together.
“We need to unite, we don’t need any ill feelings at all," Antuna said. "I’m not mad at them at all. If they feel the need to bring a gun to a peaceful protest, that’s fine, I don’t have an ill feelings toward them.”
The group will hold a rally in El Paso on Tuesday before they continue to other states.