Students and parents fight for our lives at gun rally

My experience at the Springfield gun rally


Here I am inside the capital. (Photo courtesy of Johanna Danz)

Nathan Danz, Opinion writer

The only reason assault rifles are being sold in the same store you could find a shotgun is because the people selling it only care about one thing: money.

On January 5th, I went to Springfield, Illinois to join a “Students Demand Action” Rally, also known as an assault rifle protest. The Rally was meant to turn an assault rifle ban in Illinois into a reality. Keep in mind that it was meant to prohibit the use of assault rifles, not regular ones.

I went with my mother, Johanna Danz. We boarded the bus at 7:45am, a charter bus out of Evanston headed to the state capital, Springfield. On the bus were a couple of women who were a part of the protest. Their branch was titled “Moms Demand Action.” When we made it to Springfield, we gathered with our fellow branch, “Students Demand Action.”

When I went inside the Capitol building, the first thing I did was hold up a sign which I made myself. The sign had a drawing of a justice law scale, a depiction of guns and a dollar sign, and a small child. I  wrote in bold letters: WHAT IS WORTH MORE? I hope that the government officials saw this.

At the center of the building was a pedestal where multiple people who experienced gun violence stood and spoke about their experiences in America, in Illinois, and at the Highland park shooting. The speech that stuck with me the most, however, was when a young lady from a lower-class neighborhood spoke about how a person she knew was shot only a few blocks away from her own home.

The rally was memorable, because it made me think. It made me think about how I could lose someone. I could lose people I loved instantly, if a few pieces of sharpened metal were to fly into them. 

How can we ever consider that a reality? How has that ever been normal?

The reason I went to this protest was because I wanted the experience of understanding why people protest. I realized that people were angry. After all,  assault rifles were designed to kill masses of people during wartime, plain and simple. They were never supposed to reach the hands of an average citizen.