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Activists rally at Capitol during national walkouts to protest gun violence

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While walkouts were taking place at schools across the state, students and activists held a rally at the state Capitol. They want stricter gun laws. Specifically, the preservation of so-called “gun-free zones” and extensive background checks for people who buy firearms.

Aaron Stephens spoke at the event. He’s an East Lansing city council member and Michigan State University student. He says he’s an example of what people, even young people, can do when their government officials don’t listen to them.

“There’s one sure fire way to affect the change you want to see,” he said. “You run for their seat. And you take it and then you create the change that you want to see.”

The walkouts and the rally follow a deadly mass shooting at a Florida school a month ago.

Nash Salami is a junior at Plymouth High School. He organized the rally. He said they need to demand action from state lawmakers, “To reform our gun legislation and protect us as students and make our voices heard louder than the NRA and corporate money.”