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Thousands of people support students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a rally for gun control at the Florida capitol (2/21/18).The Florida legislature is poised to pass some of the most sweeping gun control and mental health reforms in more than 20 years. The moves come as lawmakers face pressure from students affected by the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.On Valentine's Day, a 19-year-old in Parkland opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He killed 14 students, three adults, and injured 14 others. There were warning signs, yet, all, including a tip to the FBI, were missed.That day, school safety measures in place, like school resource officers, restricted access and fencing--all failed.In the wake of the shooting, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas have mobilized, calling on the legislature to take greater action to prevent school and mass shootings. Lawmakers, it seems, are finally listening.https://youtu.be/6PRPEfu7WPg

A Tale Of Two Tallahassee Gun Rallies

The “Big Pro Gun Rally” and the March for Our Lives rally both took place in downtown Tallahassee this weekend. These are some of the signs.
AnnMarie Welser
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WFSU-FM
The “Big Pro Gun Rally” and the March for Our Lives rally both took place in downtown Tallahassee this weekend. These are some of the signs.";s:

The “Big Pro Gun Rally” and the March for Our Lives rally both took place in downtown Tallahassee this weekend.

Local leaders, Pulse nightclub survivors and students from Parkland High School all spoke at the March for Our Lives rally.

Survivor of the Parkland shooting, Sofie Whitney explains why she wanted to participate.

“I’m here because after what happened at my school, we didn’t want our school to become another statistic,” Whitney says, “We wanted to make the world a better place after something so terrible happened and with such common sense and what we’re trying to do, we want to get as many people mobilized and as many people registered to vote and educated so we can elect people that really represent what we believe in.”

Organizers say the main goal for this event was to encourage voter registration.

“It’s been very emotional and really exhausting,” Whitney says, “But I’m alive and I’m here, so I need to use my voice to make a change.”

Meanwhile down the street “The Big Pro Gun Rally” had 14 speakers including gun activist Kaitlin Bennett.

“Gun rights means to me self protection, self preservation of not only myself but also my country,” Bennett says, “We have the most firearms in the nation and we are one of the freest countries because of that.”

This rally also advocated for voter registration.

“Our rally is being organized because the primaries are coming up and they wanted to make sure that the guns rights side was advocated for and represented,” Bennett says, “And let them know that hey gun owners are here in Florida, we do vote so keep that in mind.”

 

The deadline to register for the 2018 primary election is Monday, July 30th. The deadline for the general election is Oct. 9th.