#NoMoreExcuses advocates rally in Marion Square

On Monday, Feb. 19, students, teachers and other members of the Charleston community gathered together in Marion Square to rally against gun violence. The #NoMoreExcuses Rally for Change featured speakers from various schools, the Brady Campaign, Moms Demand Action and various other outlets.

Merrill Chapman from the Brady Campaign, an organization focused on preventing gun violence, opened up the rally by introducing Pastor William Epps who led the audience in prayer.

After the prayer, the organizer of the event, Heather Shaw, stepped up to the podium. Shaw, an attorney in Mount Pleasant, addressed the issue of gun violence and how angry she was about the lack of action within our state legislature. After speaking with the Brady Campaign, she decided to organize the Rally for Change to show state legislators the community’s disdain.

Notable speakers included high school student Ava and her mother. Ava’s family chose to move from Florida to South Carolina months ago. Had they not done so, Ava would have been inside the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland the day Nikolas Cruz brought a AR-15 to school. Ava was in contact with her friends while the shooter was in the school, and learned that two of them did not make it out alive.

The rally ended with Pastor Thomas Dixon, who began the chant “No one should ever vote for anyone who has accepted money from the NRA.” Dixon stated that “I’m just somebody out here trying to save somebody,” and urged the crowd to continue their efforts in advocating for stricter gun laws.

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