SAN MARCOS — The San Elijo Hills community held an “Enough” support rally March 14 in response to the recent shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Approximately 60 people attended including students from San Elijo Middle School and San Elijo Elementary School, along with residents who support the movement to end gun violence.
Before the rally began, there were reports of an active shooter threat at the Westridge neighborhood up the street near the elementary and middle schools. It was later determined the to be a hoax. Attendees were concerned and shocked to hear an active shooter was possibly up the street from a rally in support to end gun violence.
“It is ironic there was a threat right up the street from this rally,” said San Elijo resident Amoreena Berg. “Also, pretty concerning.”
Berg, a mother of two children ages 4 and 7, helped organize the rally due to her concern for her children and their safety.
“I’m over (gun violence),” she said. “My daughter is telling me over breakfast that they are doing lockdowns drills and she’s asking me if I know what that is. And my son is telling me, ‘I don’t want any bad guys to come hurt me in school.’”
Six guests spoke at the rally, including 50th Congressional District candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar. His platform includes common sense gun reform, including the same weapon safety rules used by the military.
“If you’re are an instructor or a teacher (on military bases) you are not carrying a gun,” Campa-Najjar said. “That is why the military police exist. If the military bases do not allow people to carry private firearms, why are on earth are we having the civilians do it?”
Campa-Najjar said he will do everything in his power in Congress to make sure civilians are safe.
“I am telling you today, that if you elect me, I will vote for an assault weapons ban,” Campa-Najjar said. “Even if it costs me the seat. I refuse to silence this nation at the cost of young children’s lives. I refuse to do that.”
CNN reported that since the beginning of March 2018, there have been at least 14 school shootings in the U.S. CNN categorized school shootings as those that involved at least one person being shot (not including the shooter), occurred on school grounds, or included gang violence and domestic violence and accidental discharge of a firearm as long as the first two parameters are met.
“I go to school and I am afraid,” said San Marcos High School senior Sofia Campanella. “I look for the nearest exit when I walk into a classroom. I can’t imagine going to school with the people that I know and watch them die or get hurt because this is a real issue.”