After school shootings, a teenager tries to bring gun control to her conservative Wyoming town

After school shootings, a teenager tries to bring gun control to her conservative Wyoming town

At home in Gillette, Wyo., Moriah Engdahl, 16, tells her father, Alan Engdahl, about her speech to the Campbell County school board last month in which she argued against arming the district’s teachers. Moriah is one of the few vocal supporters of gun control in Gillette; many residents, like her father, see guns as an essential part of life. Alan Engdahl was driving home after an overnight shift in the oil field when his truck picked up a scratchy radio signal out of Gillette. It was the first sign of civilization since he had disappeared the afternoon before down 50 miles of wind-whipped prairie and rutted gravel roads, so Alan and his co-worker listened to the disc jockey tick through community news. Cattle prices were flat. T&T Guns had antique rifles on special. The Cowboy Draw lotto was up to $1 million. “And here’s something you don’t hear every day,” the radio host said. “We apparently have a liberal gun protest happening right here in Gillette.” Alan had rarely heard anything described as liberal in northeast Wyoming, and now he listened as the disc jockey explained how 10 Campbell County High School students had marched downtown the previous afternoon to demand tighter gun laws. They said they wanted mandatory background checks on all gun purchases. They said they wanted to build a gun-control movement in solidarity with survivors of a shooting in Parkland, Fla., and tens of thousands of other teenagers protesting across the country. But this was Wyoming, […]

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