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Frustrated over gun violence, what these East High School parents, students want to change

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Posted: 7:38 PM, Mar 23, 2023
Updated: 2023-03-28 14:37:44-04
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DENVER — Before hundreds of students and parents from East High School flooded the hallways of the Colorado State Capitolto demand gun reform on Thursday, some spoke to Denver7 to share their opinionon what change they want to happen after Wednesday’s school shooting.

To have your voice be heard, use the form below or email your thoughts to We will compile opinions and add to this story.

"I'm Stephanie Bender, and I'm a parent at East and what I want to see is a separation between things like mental health support and gun restrictions. Stop complicating the gun laws with excuses about how we need more mental health support, handle them both, but handle them separately. And immediately."

Frustrated over gun violence, what these East High School parents want to change

"My name is Julie Wagoner. I'm the mother of three East graduates, my grandmother of an East High School student, daughter of a murder victim of guns 45 years ago.I've been fighting this fight for way too long. I need to get guns out of our lives. I understand the Second Amendment. But and I want to at least see the assault weapons ban continued or put back in place. Thanks"

"Hello, my name is Mira, I'm a freshman at East High School, and I want to ban assault weapons and also raise the age to get a gun to being 21, instead of 18."

"Emily Hopper, I'm a freshman at East and I want to change the fact that there's not enough waiting time in between buying guns so people can have impulsive gun buys and then that same day go shoot up the store, school or something."

After the shooting at their school, East High School students want these changes now

"My name is Alyssa, I'm a parent of a ninth grade Denver Public School student. We should not be able to get a gun whenever we want. There should be waiting periods. Our daughter's just talked to legislators about lengthening the waiting period. They're doing something we need everyone to do something."

The registry this East High parent wants to see after Wednesday’s school shooting

"Here's what I want to be done. I want parents to be informed, properly informed. Tell us the real data. Tell us how many students are on these pat downs in not only my kids schools, but DPS-wide, you know, create some type of registry where we can look this up and know the data.

I want to know that my son is safe at school. I want to see that they're in a learning environment. Place where the teachers are fearless about disciplining students that are misbehaving because they need to know what is appropriate when they leave the school and are in the community in general — when they have a boss, when they have somebody that they need to be respectful to. But they're disrespecting all day long at the school. It needs to change. -Steve Katsaros, East High School parent.

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What you're saying

'This degree of screening is not implemented...'

Just curious why I am required to have a clear bag and go through metal detectors to go to a concert or a sporting event, but this degree of screening is not implemented, doesn’t even seem like it is on the radar for discussion at our Colorado schools despite the epidemic of mass shootings in Colorado?
T. Benson

'Needs to immediately correct this.'

I am the parent of 2 DPS students. Students who are enough of a known risk to require a daily pat-down should not be permitted on school campus. Whoever sets the policies that allowed that to happen - whether it's the State of Colorado or DPS - needs to immediately correct this. Parents need to be involved in this policy development.

'How will more laws prevent this from happening again?'

More gun laws won’t help. The kid should not have had a gun. He was under 21 and is not allowed to purchase or possess a handgun, yet he had one. Shooting innocent people is illegal yet he shot 2 people. He broke many existing laws in one act. How will more laws prevent this from happening again? The culture in that part of the city needs to be addressed. Parents need to be more aware of what their kids are doing. The violence won’t change if the families don’t get involved with their kids. I lived in a bad area in Los Angeles. My cousin who lived across the street from me got involved in gangs and killed 2 rival gang members. He had parents that didn’t know how to be parents. My brother and I didn’t get in the gang because our parents cared. Don’t blame an inanimate piece of plastic and metal blame the person pulling the trigger.
Julian Gonzalez

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