DENVER (KDVR) – For a moment on Friday morning, a section of Colfax Avenue looked like a sea of red.
It’s the color hundreds of students from East High School were wearing as they marched to the state Capitol. The students’ mission was to ask for specific changes in gun laws after a fellow student was killed just outside the school campus.
“The message is that this needs to change. Colorado allows people to buy guns at age 18. I have friends who are seniors who can’t drive but they buy a gun,” said Lillian Jordan, a member of the East High School student council.
Jordan held a megaphone as she spoke to the crowds of students on the statehouse steps. The Denver Center for International Studies joined the walkout as well, in solidarity with East High.
Students plead to lawmakers for gun change
Gun violence in and near schools has become all too common, students said.
“I’m out here for the younger generation, the younger kids that have to go to elementary school and do lockdown drills as (a) legislator said. They have to practice how they are going to die. Explain to me how that’s OK,” East High student Elijah Goss said.
The walkouts were designed to make a direct emotional plea to lawmakers in session. Some students went inside the Capitol. Others placed messages on legislators’ cars outside.
“We shouldn’t go to school and feel threatened. We should go to school to learn,” East High student Tyjuan McKnight said.
The brother of Luis Garcia, who was killed near East High, was at the rally too.
“It’s just heartbreaking to hear his name. I think there has to be a lot more security around the schools,” Santos Garcia said.
Will lawmakers raise the age to buy guns?
One legislator promised to fight to increase the legal age limit to buy guns, a measure lawmakers have already introduced this session.
“That’s important, because there are too many guns in the hands of young people,” District 17 Rep. Regina English.
Many are not sure if yet another march will bring change, but they say they had to do it for Luis Garcia.
“I don’t know anyone who didn’t like Luis. It’s horrible that this could have happened to anyone. It just happened to Luis,” Garcia’s classmate, Aden Bauer, said.
Denver Public Schools closed off some streets around campus to help keep the walkout safe. The district said it also provided transportation back to their respective campuses.
Classes remained in session for students who did not wish to march.