CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With less than 48 hours to plan, some students on the campus of UNC Charlotte are organizing a March for Our Lives rally to take place Friday.
The rally is being planned by the UNC Charlotte chapter of the national March for Our Lives organization. March for Our Lives formed after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida to fight for gun violence prevention policies.
Margaret Murphy, a member of the UNC Charlotte chapter of the organization, is helping to plan Friday’s rally. Murphy is just a freshman at UNCC and said she’s grown up having to practice active shooter drills in school. She told WBTV in an interview Thursday night that she’s always thought a shooting was “bound to happen” at a school she attended.
“I don’t want anymore kids to have to have to go through that same thought process of ‘am I next?’ and actually being next,” explained Murphy.
The UNCC freshman agrees with the notion that gun violence has become a national problem that needs to be addressed.
“There is an issue. We saw it at Sandy Hook. We saw it at Parkland. We saw it at Pulse,” elaborated Murphy.
Now the UNCC freshman has seen the violence on her own campus. Tuesday’s unexpected, senseless shooting has shaken the UNC Charlotte community.
Murphy said the campus chapter of March for Our Lives decided during a vigil held Wednesday that a rally was needed. The purpose of the gathering is not to spout off political rhetoric, but to honor fallen classmates and call for change.
“We don’t want to make the deaths of our two students to be about pushing an agenda. We want it to be about bringing us together and to push for a solution,” said Murphy.
With just over a day to plan, the students have secured a space to meet and have contacted elected leaders to speak at the rally. They explained that their group is neither pro-gun nor anti-gun.
“I think that people need to realize that this is not a partisan issue. You don’t have to choose between being pro-gun or anti-gun,” explained Cade Lee, chapter director of the UNC Charlotte March for Our Lives branch.
The students are hoping to convince elected leaders that something needs to be done to prevent future mass shootings from happening.
Murphy said the rally is going to be held on the West Quad across from the Belk Gym. It is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Murphy said multiple elected leaders are slated to be in attendance.