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Rochester Teens Travel to DC for 'March for Our Lives'

March 23, 2018 01:23 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- Four Rochester teens are saying "enough is enough" to gun violence.

They will be joining hundreds of thousands of voices at the national "March For Our Lives" rally in Washington, D.C., this weekend.

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Parents and church leaders joined the high school students in prayer before they left Thursday afternoon.

The teens were chosen for the trip based on essays they wrote on "why people need to care about gun control and what can be done."

"I wrote about how I think it’s our responsibility as a faith community and a church to promote tolerance for each other,” said Melina Lopez.

The 16-year-old Rochester student wants to see "better background checks for people who have guns and a ban on assault weapons."

The Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ is paying for 14 teens across the state, including the four from Rochester, to join the call for action.

"We [mom and me] didn't have the adequate funds to travel to D.C. on our own," said Gavin Bloch.

Now money won't get in the way of the 17-year-old Bloch meeting with federal lawmakers. "Even though we are not old enough to vote, we can still have our voices heard,” said Bloch. “As high school students, this [gun control] is affecting us.”

Bloch and Lopez both attend Century High School.

"Century has a lot of glass and it’s kind of scary to think about what would happen if there was an active shooter in my school," said Lopez.

"I have a bit of apprehension sometimes when I’m at school," said Bloch.

They want students to get an education without fearing for their safety.

Peace United Church of Christ fully supports the cause, living up to its name. “We believe Jesus calls us to do is support nonviolence,” said Reverend Beth Rogers.

On Friday, the teens will meet with lawmakers. Saturday they will take to the streets of Washington.

More than 800 other marches are taking place across the country including in southeast Minnesota.

"March For Our Lives" will leave Peace Plaza in Rochester at 10 A.M. on Saturday. Marchers will also leave Winona High School at 4:30 p.m. and head to Lake Park Bandshell for a rally at 5:30 p.m.

 

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Hannah Tiede

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