March for our lives: Bentonville

A+protester+holds+up+a+sign+at+the+Bentonville+rally

A protester holds up a sign at the Bentonville rally

Billie Firmin, Editor

On Saturday, March 24, March For Our Lives protests took place around the world.  March For Our Lives was created by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in February and aims to end gun violence in schools through gun control legislation.

The largest march was held in Washington, D.C. and was attended by over 800,000 people, according to the March For Our Lives organization. Many sister rallies and marches took place across the country and the world, including in Northwest Arkansas.
In Bentonville, a rally was held in front of the Benton County Courthouse. Students and teachers at Bentonville High School spoke about the need for gun control to maintain safety in schools.

Maya Hall, a junior at FHS who attended the rally, said: “I went to the rally because I believe in an America where kids can go to school without the fear of being hunted down and killed.”

Attendees held up signs with slogans including “Protect kids not guns” and “Fear has no place in school”. Chants were also heard throughout the crowd, which consisted largely of “Vote them out”. This refers to Arkansas politicians such as District 84 Representative Charlie Collins, a gun advocate who led House Bill 1249, which aimed to allow concealed carry on the University of Arkansas campus. The bill went into effect in September 2017.

Counter-protesters were present at the rally as well. During a 20 minute period of silence to honor gun violence victims, a man began shouting “Boo!” Near the end of the rally, several counter-protesters spoke across the street from the March For Our Lives rally about preserving gun rights.

In spite of the conflicting viewpoints, neither side reported any incidents of violence.

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