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San Diego County Students To March For Stricter Gun Laws

Patrick Henry High School students participate in #NationalWalkoutDay, March 14, 2018.
Megan Burks
Patrick Henry High School students participate in #NationalWalkoutDay, March 14, 2018.
San Diego County Students To March For Stricter Gun Laws
San Diego County Students To March For Stricter Gun Laws GUESTS:Natasha Salgado, student, University of San Diego Mohamed Elnakib, student, Alliant International University

>>> I am Michael in for Maureen Cavanaugh. Our top story is students across the country are rallying tomorrow against gun violence. They're calling it the "March For Our Lives". Up to half 1 million people are expected to protest in Washington organized students by Parkland high school. They are also 800 marches planned in cities. Including 3 in San Diego County. Joint with me are organizers. -- Joint with me are some organizers. Lesson 2 weeks ago students led a nationwide walk out. Why have another protest so soon after? >> The reason behind the walkout was for students to be able to begin that momentum for this March for the -- for the strength six -- "March For Our Lives". We want to make sure the movement is a die and want to make sure we are doing whatever means we can in keeping that momentum and keeping students active and keeping them relevant in the conversation because are so many instances where there's an issue that pops up that is very relevant and people feel very passionate about what you give it a month or a few weeks, and it diminishes. So as us as students want to keep that momentum going and we transload it -- translated that in the national walkout as well as the "March For Our Lives". We will continue with the April 20 walkout as well as these social events that are going to be happening after. >> Is there specific legislation you are advocating for? >> What we are pushing for is the demands we have listed in our Facebook page and what is being passed -- push to the national movement which is pushing for common sense gun laws. That means closing the loophole in regards to background checks, making sure that we are not being -- distributing assault weapons, and making it easy for students, or use to acquire these guns, making sure that they cannot get them. And those that are under the mental health section are being considered in the mental health gun reform. And the military -- D militarization of the situation. Really be brought and danger aspect of gun violence which is not only taking place with -- within our education system but within our communities as well. >> We spoke with the head of San Diego County gun owners Michael Schwartz here's what he said on whether gun rights advocates were losing support among students and young people. >> I don't think we are losing the battle at all. In fact I've never seen so many organizations -- organization in the Second Amendment community. >> About the same percentage of men -- millennial's oppose stricter gun laws. How are you speaking with the students that disagree with you? >> This is a great question, I think many people in essence what they will do is come and tell us that we are not in support of the Second Amendment right for people to have weapons, or to bear arms. Which is false. We do support that. But like Natosha says that cause of the responsibility. Part of that responsibility is calling upon legislators and politicians in order to make sure that they are passing legislation that will make sure that our students lives are not at risk and they are safe at school. Having a salt West -- weapons and assault rifles, should not be able to be sold anywhere. Gun shows, any places. The reason why is that type of weapon is designed for nothing but to kill. It has bullets that fire continuously rapidly, and very fast. You have or anybody that can acquire these type of weapons. We've seen videos and social media anyone can walk up at a gun show and by an assault rifle. >> But polls show many people of your age disagree with you. How are you trying to have that conversation? >> We're having these conversation with politicians, and people are really kind of advocating for gun reform and it's important that we fight for that. I think in order for us to have this conversation, we are willing to work with people that are willing to have or willing to sit down and talk about how we can compromise, and come together to make sure that if these people want to own weapons, that's great, but they do it on their own turf, but not have that be an option for people to own and bring to school and whatnot. >> Natosha, young people and students they vote in much lower percentages. Than other age groups. There have been, movements for decades to try and increase that. That's part of your message as well. Why do you think that you will succeed where many others have failed? >> I think the great thing about this movement is that students are really realizing the power voting. Many students are excited when it comes down to these elections because in the past we feel that yes there has been a push towards moving the youth to registering and voting and being active. But I think what has happened is that there has been a tiring and exhaustion of going from one thing to another thing, and I guess this movement kind of is targeting something that is part of the students lives that is every day. They're going to school every day, there facing these issues every day and are starting to realize wow, if we don't do something now, nothing will change in the future. I think that's what many students have captured, not only what we have seen in San Diego but across the nation as well. Students feel because this issue is so personal to them, and it's a fit -- affecting themselves, siblings and family members in various schools across the nation as well, that voting is the potential power. That we have. And being able to not only respond and say if you do not do this we will not vote for you, and having that say is very powerful and students are using that language, and that verbal communication with their politicians, to say enough is enough. >> IV have been speaking with organizers for the "March For Our Lives" . Thank you so much. >> Thank you.

Students across the country on Saturday will be participating in what organizers are calling the "March For Our Lives."

Organizers said 800 marches are planned in 80 U.S. cities. Three of those marches will be held in San Diego County.

The marches are planned to start at 10 a.m. on Saturday in San Diego, Escondido and Encinitas.

Natasha Salgado, a political science major at the University of San Diego, is one of the organizers for the San Diego march. She said the group will be identifying politicians who take money from the National Rifle Association, encouraging youth to vote and raising awareness among youth that they have power and a voice.

Mohamed Elnakib is also an organizer for the San Diego march. He is a clinical psychology doctoral student at Alliant International University.

Salgado and Elnakib join Midday Edition Friday to talk about the San Diego march and what they hope it achieves.