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Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

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March For Our Lives student activists stop in El Paso for town hall

Activist Emma Gonzalez speaks with counter protestor outside of the panel discussion.

The March for Our Lives – Road to Change bus tour stopped in downtown El Paso at the El Paso Community Foundation on Tuesday, July 10, where high school students from around the nation including survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting were present for a town hall with members of the community.

The purpose of the tour is to advocate for stricter gun control laws and urge people, especially youth, to register to vote and make sure they are voting for candidates who do not take donations from the National Rifle Association.

A panel of 10 students, including students from El Paso area high schools, New York, Chicago, Santa Fe, Texas, and Parkland, Florida, spoke to the audience about their feelings on gun control issues and immigration laws.

“We want to help put preventions and laws in the books in place to prevent senseless killings like the one that happened at my school, the one that happened in Santa Fe, Texas, and Pulse in Orlando, and Las Vegas,” said Alfonso Calderon, a survivor of the Parkland, Florida shooting. “We had a march where everyone came out, but now let go through the country talking to every single person that we can to not only register people to vote and to vote for morally just leaders.”

Alfonso was the only student on stage from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Meanwhile, another survivor Emma Gonzalez, who has been one of the most vocal activists in March For Our Lives, and other students were seen speaking to counter protesters both inside and outside the building.

James Peinado, a counter-protester, showed up outside the event to make sure that both sides of the issue are heard.

“We’re here to spread awareness that our rights are not up for a vote, such as the Second Amendment,” Peinado said. “We appreciate the fact that they are using their First Amendment to travel the country and have peaceful dialogue and that they’ve reached out across the aisle to sincere gun advocates to fix shootings, but we believe that what they’re proposing is not going to solve the problems any more than passing drug laws ended the drug war.”

The road tour will continue making stops across the country throughout the summer.

Bryan Delgado

Bryan Delgado, a senior at Del Valle High School, is working at Student Media and Publications as an intern this summer through the Upward Bound Program. He drew this Loteria cartoon in honor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, who visited El Paso on July 12.

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March For Our Lives student activists stop in El Paso for town hall