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Guns & America

Young Voices Across The Country Lead The Conversation After March For Our Lives

Tay Anderson
Leigh Paterson
/
KUNC
Tay Anderson, 20, of Denver, Colorado.

In the year since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, young people have brought gun issues to the forefront of our national consciousness like never before.

One year ago, weeks of conversations, walkouts and student action culminated in March For Our Lives events in Washington, D.C., and across the country.

The marches inspired counter-rallies and demonstrations. Young people spoke out about their views on guns and gun rights. The role of guns in American life became a key topic of discussion in 2018.

Over the last few weeks, KUNC and partner stations from Guns & America spent time with young people in 10 different communities across the country, discussing the many roles guns play in their lives, and what — if anything — has changed since February 2018.

What emerged was a diverse array of perspectives and insight into what the next generation thinks about one of the most polarizing issues of our time.

Follow @GunsReporting on Instagram for more from the project.

Tay Anderson, 20
Denver, Colorado

"Young people, especially people of color, go through this every single day and it's not new to us when we see it happen to a white, suburban area."

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Natalie Khalil
Credit Jonathan Levinson / OPB
/
OPB

Natalie Khalil, 19
Lake Oswego, Oregon

"I was in Houston at the time that Jazmine Barnes died ... I remember just sitting there being like 'Oh my god, a 7-year-old is dead,' and I was just like, 'For what?'"

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Aiden Shuck
Credit Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio
/
Boise State Public Radio

Aiden Shuck, 19
Nampa, Idaho

"We're gonna figure out the balance point between too much and too little guns and things will be better, but at this point we haven't reached that yet. And we all need to take a chill pill."

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Guns-and-america-AMFOL-Leah.png
Credit Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC
/
WUNC

Leah Krevat, 16
Apex, North Carolina

"I didn't really know much about gun violence last year ... And then when Parkland happened my stance on guns was like 'OK, they shouldn't be around.'"

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Erin Cooke
Credit Lisa Hagen / WABE
/
WABE

Erin Cooke, 20
Athens, Georgia

"We said the Second Amendment protects the other 26. And so that's how I view it. I think it's a very important amendment. I think it's the most important."

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Lauryn Renford
Credit Alana Wise / WAMU
/
WAMU

Lauryn Renford, 17
Washington, D.C.

"I think we need to go back to that D.C. where we had community and people weren't dying left and right."

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Tyrek Marquez
Credit Ryan Lindsay / WNPR
/
WNPR

Tyrek Marquez, 17
Hartford, Connecticut

"Once I tell someone that when I was 7, I got shot in my head and then I started talking about why the change is needed, it grasps their attention."

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Caroline Bennett
Credit Chris Haxel / KCUR
/
KCUR

Caroline Bennett, 17
Parkville, Missouri

"After the Parkland shooting and the students there speaking up and talking about it, it became a huge part of my life and kind of something that I could take on as a challenge and try to fight for."

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Grace Kelley
Credit Matt Richmond / Ideastream
/
Ideastream

Grace Kelley, 18
Cleveland, Ohio

"Actually being involved in planning a march has shown me the work that goes into it and also how rewarding it can be."

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Hunter Lee
Credit Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC
/
WUNC

Hunter Lee, 18
Smithfield, North Carolina

"In a gun-free zone, nobody has them but only the one bad person that has the gun."

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Nyasha Magocha
Credit Anthony Cave / KERA
/
KERA

Nyasha Magocha, 19
Arlington, Texas

"Over this past year, I've kind of been forcing myself to be more aware of the effects of guns."

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