Hundreds of thousands of people across the US took to the streets over the weekend to protest gun violence. Many around South Dakota joined in local March for our Lives as well as counter protests of those supporting gun rights.
Nearly 500 people of all ages marched across the downtown blocks to demand stricter gun control. The protest was organized by students from Black Hills State University.
Eighteen year old freshman, Starr Paul, say this is a sister protest to the March in Washington.
“Senseless gun violence is obviously an issue and too many lives have been lost. And it’s just not fair that children have to go to school scared if they’re going to leave or not. They don't tell you anything about that orientation. I mean we hardly go oer tornado drill let alone what to do in an active shooter situation.”
Paul says she plans to push for active shooter safety plans on her campus.
A small counter protest gathered across the street. Larry Naumann says he heard a lot of slander.
“They’re not talking about anything that’s going to fix the problem. You have to fix the crazy people. You put the evil prison and keep them there. It’s not about the gun. An all they’ve done is another political rally and they’re just kids.”
Naumann believes the kids are being misled by their parents.
One student organizer announced his candidacy following the protest. Wyatt Osthus is a 21 year old junior at Black Hills State running for office in District 31.
“It’s been incredible to see the energy across the state and across the country with young people taking leadership positions and trying to run for office. That as well as the need for change within our district and our state has inspired me to run.”
Organizers are planning a school walk out on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.