Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press Margo Jenkins
The Power of Protests
Tennessee students and parents converge at the state capital to protest gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at Covenant School
Editors Note: Covenant School is less than a half a mile down the street and The Hillsboro Globe has assembled a gallery of photos from support banners, anti-gun violence legislation to marches to that happened on the capitol steps. The Hillsboro Globe will be adding image content regularly as our staff covers the events regarding the #Tennessee3 #Nopeacenojustice and #schoolsnotguns. Check back regularly for new images.
Everyday as trauma surgeons, we take care of the victims of gun violence…We are really good at our jobs, but if we can stop them from getting shot in the first place… I just want to put myself out of business. I don’t want to take care of people who are shot anymore. I don’t want to take care of KIDS (who have been shot)
— Dr. Rachel Appelbaum
At Tennessee’s State Capital on Thursday, March 30th and Monday April 3rd, protesters gathered to advocate for the end of gun violence. The protests were a sight to behold, with thousands of people in attendance, young and old.
This protest for gun control was organized by March for Our Lives, an anti-gun organization. If you want more information about March for Our Lives, follow this link to their website March For Our Lives.
Two trauma surgeons at Vanderbilt Medical Center Rachel Appelbaum and Jill Streams, answered some questions in an interview with Hillsboro Globe reporter. When asked why they were at the protest, Dr. Streams responded and said, “Everyday, as trauma surgeons, we take care of the victims of gun violence and there are many times where we can’t save them. We are really good at our jobs, but if we can stop them from getting shot in the first place… I just want to put myself out of business. I don’t want to take care of people who are shot anymore. I don’t want to take care of KIDS (who have been shot)”.
Dr. Appelbaum seconded what Dr. Streams said and added that she wished she didn’t have to do what she did, and even though she is proud of what she does, she wishes that our communities were safer, she wishes we had better gun laws, and overall, she wishes there was a way to make a change. In addition to this, Dr. Appelbaum says that there is a way to make a change, “which is why everyone is here today. To stand up, not only for the kids but for all the violence we see in our nation.” The Hillsboro Globe would also suggest that the 18-25 year old demographic should use the power of voting.
“We can’t accept this as being normal, we can’t accept this as being right, we need to make a change. Everyone being here today shows that we need it, and we want it and they are going to hear us” Dr. Streams inspiring words captured the message of the protests on Thursday. “There is a middle ground. Yes, there is too many guns and people who shouldn’t have access to guns have access to guns.” Our officials are going to tell us that taking away guns from people that are at risk of committing violent acts is not the answer to solve gun violence. The key fact that they are failing to understand is that without guns, there is no gun violence.
Maura Lee Albert and Kristin Torode, proud Hillsboro moms, were at the protests supporting the rally’s cause. When our reporter, Margo Jenkins, asked them why they were at the protest, they expressed that it was, “Because we’re moms and we love our kids. It’s not just our children, but all of our children.” Maura continued to say, “We shouldn’t live anywhere where this happens. Happening once is enough, but the fact that it (mass shootings) has happened three times in Nashville in a short period…it just shows our love of guns and not children and it has to stop.” Mass shootings don’t just effect the people who were shot or injured during these violent shootings. They affect all of society by invoking fear and sadness. Kristin Torode declares, “I’m ready for politicians to put children ahead of guns. I don’t think any civilian needs to have a weapon of war.”
After this protest, what do you expect to happen? “I expect bipartisan leadership to at least start some red flag gun laws and to begin to curb our appetite for gun. It’s going to take time. I also hope that students stay energized and organized and in two more years most of you will be able to vote, so I hope that students will get registered to vote and show up and vote out the politicians that put guns over children.
That’s what they expect to happen, but when asked what they want to happen, Maura responded “I would like them to ban all assault weapons.” Kristin then stated that “I fear that nothing will happen. that’s my fear that nothing will change but were trying to hang on to hope that it will.” Kristian’s fear is very valid. So far, the most our legislators have done so far is expel two young black representatives for standing up to protest with the protesters inside the capital.
As a solution, Maura said, “We have to have policy change and we have to be willing to be in it for the long run. The gun laws that they overturned didn’t happen overnight, so it took them a long time to get where they are with permitless carry, so we need to be in it for the next four or five years to role these back.” She is right. As a society we have to understand that laws and legislation do not happen right way, so if we want our policies to change, we need to continue to fight for it.
Hillsboro Globe reporter also interviewed a protester named Greg Decker. When asked why he was at the protest, Greg responded with, “Well I feel strongly about this issue. I know that there are okay reasons to own a gun, but we have to ban assault weapons, and that’s why six people died very quickly and very violently at The Covenant school”. The mass shooting at Covenant school was the spark that fueled these protests at the Tennessee State Capital, but the fight for the end of gun violence has been long and relentless. Greg went on the say, “Politicians have got to stop putting our children at risk. So, I want to say that the Tennessee legislature is cowardly. They’re afraid to stand up because their jobs are on the line.” At the protest, many of the protesters had the same accusation directed at our legislature and even as far as to our governor.
Mass shootings have not been at the forefront for highschoolers since the Parkland shooting, but we expect to see more representation for students needs from the students. “It’s time to stop this,” these words said and felt by many. Keep it up everyone!
For more information, check these articles out form APnews.com.