Community members gather to honor FL shooting victims

Community members gather to honor FL shooting victims
(Source: WAFF Staff)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - People gathered in Big Spring Park in Huntsville to honor the 17 lives lost in the shooting at a Florida high school last week. Nearly 100 people came out for the candlelight vigil on Sunday.

They say while the main focus was on the lives lost, they also wanted to start a conversation to incite some type of change.

"I got my first gun when I was 16. I have been a shooter my whole life. I have an AR-15 rifle. There is no excuse for those being in our society," Kenneth Hines with Indivisible Alabama told WAFF 48. Hines spoke passionately about being a gun owner willing to hand over his weapons if need be.

We have choices that we have to make. To say that I feel like a sitting duck is an understatement," said Hines.

I actually got the notification when I was sitting in class. The superintendent said there was a mass number of casualties and I kind of just looked up from my phone and said to my teacher there's been another shooting. Of course, I felt sorrow and my heart broke for the victims, the families and the friends of the victims, but I can't say I was surprised at this,'" Ella Rauer said.

Rauer, 17,  is a senior at Huntsville High School and says she realizes something needs to happen and happen now. Reema Matar, 17, also shares her sentiment. "I do not feel safe in my own high school," Matar says.

Fueled by the tragic violence in Florida last week, they say they just did the American thing by coming together to voice what they believe in. Others tell WAFF 48 that their change is misguided and that guns aren't the problem…people are.

"If someone wants to steal they're going to steal no matter what, if someone wants to commit murder they're going to commit murder no matter what, and if someone wants to commit rape they're going to do that regardless...so are we going to stop making laws against that," Hines added.

The nonpartisan organization Indivisible Alabama put together the event. They say they realize one particular viewpoint isn't shared by all. They want to hear all opinions and work together to present bi-partisan efforts to our legislators that can possibly fix these issues.

"We're not saying to take away everyone's guns. That's in the second amendment. We're not trying to destroy the constitution.

We all believe in and respect the constitution, but there are limits to the kind of guns we need," Linda Meigs, Indivisible Alabama District 5 said.

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