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Gun-Violence Protests Across Ore. Planned for Saturday

Last week, students across the country walked out of school on the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
Last week, students across the country walked out of school on the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
March 21, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. — On Saturday, Oregonians and people around the country are "marching for their lives" to protest gun violence.

At least 17 marches are scheduled across the state in cities big and small - including Bend, Burns, Medford and Roseburg, where a 2015 shooting took place at Umpqua Community College. The largest "March for Our Lives" will take place in Washington, D.C., where survivors of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting will urge Congress to pass gun control measures.

Jivan Jot Khalsa is a 15-year-old South Eugene High School student helping organize a sibling march in Eugene. She said the students in Parkland motivated him to take action.

"It really inspired me because already I cared about these issues, but hearing first-hand accounts really made me want to do more instead of just saying I care about it and moving on,” Khalsa said. “I wanted to do something, and then we had this opportunity to do the march."

Khalsa also participated in last week's walkout and said that is providing momentum for this week's march. The Eugene march will begin at 11 a.m.

Opponents of gun control measures say they aren't effective at preventing violence and infringe upon people's Second Amendment rights.

Khalsa pushed back on the idea that these marches are about infringing on a person's right to own guns or taking away their guns.

"We're simply doing this because myself and my peers who are involved - and people who aren't involved - are tired of seeing our other peers injured and shot at and worried that something's going to happen to them in their schools,” she said. “And we just want every child to feel safe and to feel OK going to school without worrying about something like this happening."

The D.C. march is being organized in partnership with the group Everytown for Gun Safety. According to the March for Our Lives website, more than 800 sibling protests are scheduled worldwide.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR