MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Protesters swarmed the State Capitol Rotunda Thursday, demanding action this year on gun safety.
The rally just days after the deadly Florida high school shooting, which is reverberating in Minnesota.
Eva Goldfarb, a junior at St. Louis Park High School, called for immediate gun control measures.
“Not asking, demanding,” Goldfarb said. “Because this is not some social media trend, or teen rebellion. It is life and death.”
The rally was sponsored by the group “Protect Minnesota,” which is backing four gun safety bills:
Highland Park Elementary School teacher Donna Yu Ryder said her small students are frightened of gun violence, and she promised to keep them safe.
“That is a responsibility, and we accept that responsibility. But I do not accept that responsibility with a gun in my hand,” Ryder said.
Republicans who control the legislature say it is unclear what gun bills, if any, will surface this year.
But gun rights groups say tougher school security measures should be strongly considered.
“We protect our sporting venues, we protect banks. What can we do at our schools to make sure we treat our children as precious as they are?” said Rob Doar, from the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee.
Gun safety advocates point out more people died in Minnesota last year from gun violence than from opioid abuse and traffic accidents — but they say there is no serious effort to address it.
Odds that gun control regulations passing this session are not good, even if there are some issues on which both sides agree.
It is a very short session in an election year, and there is absolutely no agreement on whether any of these bills will even get a hearing.