Members of Terre Haute March for Our Lives joined other Indiana chapters and We Live Inc. Monday night to demonstrate against the National Rifle Association, which will conduct an annual conference in Indianapolis later this week.
Nationally, March For Our Lives is a movement dedicated to student-led activism around ending gun violence and the epidemic of mass shootings in schools. The Terre Haute chapter organized in February.
The Terre Haute members joined others from Bloomington and Lake County as well as representatives of We Live, Inc. About 21 attended a session at the All Souls Unitarian Church, and 10 then went to Monument Circle and the Statehouse.
At Monument Circle, students carried signs resembling tombstones with different messages. Alex Cantrell, who co-organized the Terre Haute March for Our Lives Chapter, carried a sign that named schools and colleges where mass shootings have occurred: Marjory Stoneman Douglas; Columbine; Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech.
Gun reform is needed to save lives, say Cantrell and Rocky Roberts, also a Terre Haute March for Our Lives co-founder. The NRA wields too much influence in preventing needed changes, they say.
Another concern is that “Indiana has incredibly lax gun laws,” Roberts said.
The National Rifle Association is conducting an annual conference in Indianapolis Friday through Sunday. The NRA website says it will have “15 acres of guns and gear, exclusive seminars and luncheons, appearances from top national political leaders and musical superstars — and the chance to rub shoulders with tens of thousands of other Second Amendment patriots.”
The event is at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. Both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to address the convention on Friday.
While in Indy, the March for Our Lives members passed out flyers to inform people about candidates the NRA is endorsing. “We wanted to let people know who the NRA endorses and get the word out the NRA shouldn’t have a chokehold over our state legislators,” Roberts said.
While the number of demonstrators was small, “We will always be a mighty, tight-knit group no matter how many there are,” Cantrell said.