SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Students from school districts across Oregon have been involved in gun control efforts for more than a year. They feel like their safety is being used as a bargaining chip by state lawmakers and are especially upset with Gov. Kate Brown.
Students with March for Our Lives Oregon and Youth of Oregon United said they want “common sense gun safety laws” passed before the end of this session.
Thursday’s trip to the State Capitol comes about a week after the gun scare at Parkrose High School. However, it’s important to note that this is the fourth time students will head to the Capitol to push for change.
These student leaders from around the state spoke out after a sweeping Senate gun control bill was dropped by Brown and Senate Democrats in an apparent effort to attract needed votes to an education funding bill.
According to students, Gov. Kate Brown recently traded away with SB 978 to get Republicans back to work. They said the measure was a comprehensive gun safety bill and lawmakers used their bill as a bargaining chip instead of taking their safety into consideration.
Sadie, a 13-year-old from a middle school in Northeast Portland, said she campaigned with Brown on Senate Bill 978 — and pointed to a Brown tweet about those efforts. The unexpected shelving of the gun bill feels like a broken promise to her.
Gov. Brown said she comforted families at Umpqua Community College after the October 1, 2016 mass shooting there. Despite the political setback, she remains committed to bringing common sense gun control to Oregon.
“We’ve been able to make incremental progress since I’ve been governor,” she said, “and we will continue to do so.”
Student leaders said our political system may be failinig them, but they will not go away and will never stop fighting until their classrooms feel safe again.