Community members invited to march about firearms

Amelia Hicks

A March for Our Lives event to address gun violence will be held on WKU’s campus this Saturday, according to the Center for Citizenship and Social Justice.

The march, hosted by the Center for Citizenship and Social Justice, will start at Cherry Hall at 11 a.m. and end at Fountain Square for an afternoon program, according to theevent page on the WKU site.

March for Our Lives events will take place across the nation this Saturday to address recent school shootings and call to end gun violence, according to theofficial site.

The Center for Citizenship and Social Justice plans to “explore gun violence more broadly in addition to the recent school shootings,” Leah Ashwill, the director of the center, said.

“We’re really just trying to look at gun violence from a broader lens,” Ashwill said. “The solutions in addressing the school shootings are some of the same solutions that could be helpful in addressing a broader range of gun violence issues we have going on.”

The center plans to march for all populations vulnerable to gun violence such as the LGBTQ community and victims of domestic violence, Ashwill said.

“We want to hear from all sorts of different sectors of our community and populations of people that have either been impacted or are very concerned with the recent school shootings,” Ashwill said.

She said the march will end with an afternoon program with speakers and an opportunity for people to register to vote.

The afternoon program will also include a moment for attendees to call state representatives to voice their concerns regarding gun safety, Greenville senior Catrinia Lambert said. Lambert is helping to organize the event.

“It is my hope that the march will create an environment of respectful dialogue and will attract the attention of state representatives,” Lambert said.

Rachel Redden, a sophomore at Bowling Green High School helping organize the march, said she hopes the event will grab the attention of lawmakers “so they know we won’t be pushed under the rug and something needs to actually change.”

Ashwill said the event will highlight the concerns of students and the community alike.

“We want to take the opportunity to give our young people a voice that day,” Ashwill said.

Redden said the main goal of the event is to end the cycle of mass shooting tragedies.

“School shootings have happened before, and nothing has changed, and no one listens,” Redden said.

Redden said her peers are mostly in agreeance that gun reform must be addressed; however, she said “some of them aren’t taking it seriously, and I fear they won’t until it happens to us.”

Ashwill said Bowling Green has not experienced a school shooting, but it has fallen victim to gun violence. She said the event will be a call for the community to directly address gun violence and start to understand it completely.

“The guns are an obvious part of the equation that needs to be addressed through legislation,” Ashwill said.

Ashwill said she hopes the march will create a “heightened sense of awareness” and improve communication on a difficult subject.

News reporter Amelia Hicks can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].