Signal Mountain student a national leader in anti-gun violence movement

Signal Mountain student a national leader in anti-gun violence movement

Seo Yoon Yang, a senior at Signal Mountain High School, raises a sign during an anti-gun violence demostration. Photo contributed by Lucy Steigenga. Seo Yoon "Yoonie" Yang, 18, a senior at Signal Mountain High School, has a challenging job. She’s an anti-gun-violence activist , which means pushing for stricter gun laws in a deep-red state where Second Amendment rights are held dear. To friends she is Yoonie, a fun nickname for a formidable young woman who has been toughened by years of face-to-face debates with people who often don’t share her views. Yang said she learned a long time ago that talking face to face doesn’t mean seeing eye to eye. "People want to argue with me even before they get a chance to listen," she said in a recent interview. "There is a misperception that gun-violence prevention and gun safety are a direct attack against gun owners and the Second Amendment." Not true, Yang believes; but that’s sometimes a hard sell. More than just a teen dabbling in a public policy debate, Yang is on the 16-member national advisory board of Students Demand Action, a grassroots, anti-gun-violence network of more than 400 local groups nationwide. The group pushes for, among other things, universal background checks for gun purchases and so-called "red flag" laws that permit police or family members to ask a court to temporarily remove firearms from a person who shows evidence of being a danger to themselves or others. Some gun rights advocates argue that these […]

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