Parkland, Fla., students take gun-reform message on road, stopping in New Mexico

Parkland, Fla., students take gun-reform message on road, stopping in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE — There were just 20 minutes left to the school day when he first heard the screaming, crying and praying, said Alfonso Calderon, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. He knew right away there was a gunman on campus. The gunshots confirmed his fears. He and others huddled in a darkened closet as the gunman killed 17 people and wounded 17 others during the February massacre. “That day changed me forever,” Calderon told hundreds of people gathered for a demonstration Wednesday at Roosevelt Park in Albuquerque. “It happened because a mentally insane 19-year-old was allowed to carry an AR-15.” Calderon is one of about a dozen Parkland students on a two-month, cross-country bus tour with a goal of rallying young voters and convincing lawmakers to take steps they believe will curb gun violence — including a rising number of deadly shootings targeting schools. The tour, called March For Our Lives: Road to Change, began June 15 in Chicago and is scheduled to make 500 stops in 20 states. Between early January and late May, there were 30 shootings at U.S. schools and universities, which killed 40 people and injured 73. That compares to nine shootings with 15 deaths in all of 2017 and 15 shootings killing 11 in 2016. The increasing violence has prompted a nationwide discussion on how to keep schools safe but also has mobilized young people who believe the effort must go beyond talks on metal detectors, bulletproof windows and […]

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