This is not an anti-gun rally.That’s what Lewiston’s March For Our Lives rally organizer, Amanda Gill, wants to make sure people know about Saturday’s event.
“I just want to start talking about how to take care of our kids,” Gill said.
The rally is one of two March For Our Lives events taking place Saturday in the region. The Lewiston rally will be at 10 a.m. at Brackenbury Square. In Moscow, a march will begin at 1 p.m. in Friendship Square and end in East City Park, where a rally will be held. Both events will feature speakers and provide an opportunity to register to vote.
The two events are being held in conjunction with the student-organized March For Our Lives demonstration taking place on the same day in Washington, D.C. Participants are asking that student lives and safety become a priority and that gun violence and mass shootings in schools be ended, according to the event website.
Lewiston’s rally will include parents, students and educators who will be speaking about issues related to safety, in particular, gun safety. Though Gill personally wants to see more thorough background checks and other “good gun laws” in place, the rally is intended to be informational and thought-provoking.
“If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine — but get involved. Go do something about it,” Gill said.
The Lewiston event is organized by Moms Demand Action, a national organization seeking common-sense gun control laws. The group formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012. The local chapter was established Feb. 20 by Gill, a Lewiston resident and mother. Gill said that before the Florida school shooting, only one chapter existed in Idaho; now Lewiston’s is one of four.
Gill wanted to be part of positive change, but she had concerns about what it would mean to speak up in a conservative community with a high rate of gun ownership. People on social media can get “vicious,” she said — there’s already been plenty of name-calling and antagonistic comments about the event online. She also had concerns about her children bearing the brunt of any dislike that’s meant towards her.
“We don’t want to put a target on ourselves,” Gill said.
Just one month old, the group already has 130 members, who are part of a Facebook group. Because some group members may be hesitant about disclosing their involvement in the group, the group is currently kept as a secret group — it can’t be found in a search and can only be joined by invitation.
The group is designed to provide information to its members, including current legislation and congressional contact information. To request to join the group, email Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: March For Our Lives March and Rallies
LEWISTON: Rally runs from 10 a.m. to noon at Brackenbury Square
MOSCOW: Meet in Friendship Square at 1 p.m., march to East City Park for rally at 1:30 p.m.