Lawmakers sit down with students to discuss gun violence - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers sit down with students to discuss gun violence

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Lawmakers sat down with students to discuss gun violence (WFSB) Lawmakers sat down with students to discuss gun violence (WFSB)
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Another week, another series of talks about ways to prevent gun violence.

It started last week with many high school students in Connecticut and across the country joining together for a national school walkout to protest gun violence.

On Monday, elected officials sat down with local high school students to continue the conversation.

“We are done accepting this is just the way things are,” said Megan Striff-Cave, a student at Hall High School.

Students from Hall and Conard high schools in West Hartford spoke out on Monday about school safety and gun violence, in the wake of what happened last month in Parkland, Fl.

“School safety needs to become more of a priority and gun violence needs to be more restricted, but the question is how do we make this happen,” said Victoria Pham, a student at Conard.

Listening to their questions and comments were U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.

The panel discussion allowed the senators to hear from students who have been leading the recent charge to change gun laws.

“I could have never imagined when I was in high school that this would be a reality that kids need to think about in my lifetime,” Murphy said.

“We are closer than ever before to meaningful reform, because of you. You have ignited a next exciting stage in this social movement,” Blumenthal said.

At Cheshire High School, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty spoke at a town hall on how to prevent gun violence.

Students asked questions and Esty was given three minutes to answer.

“In our town and our school, some people support gun reform while others disagree with gun reform efforts.  So how do you balance these different views when voting for bills in Congress,” a student asked.

Esty replied “this country was built on the fact that we have disagreements. That’s why we have a democratic system that allows give and take to hammer out resolutions.”

One parent said she has concerns the Republican side was not represented, even though she offered to find someone herself.

She added that despite her daughter being uncomfortable at the town hall, she was not allowed to leave.

“You’re never going to get everyone to agree, so start teaching school and keep the politics out of school,” Pam Salamone said.

In a statement, Cheshire's superintendent of schools said "Our students have felt strong feelings about school safety. Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty came to hear from Cheshire High School students. The Student Town Hall was moderated by Young Republicans and Young Democrats who asked questions of the Congresswoman from the student body. Our students demonstrated insight and thoughtfulness in their questions and this was an opportunity for them to participate in constructive civic discourse about their concerns and perspectives."

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