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Giffords rally draws hundreds, counter protest on Capitol lawn

Posted at 9:09 PM, Mar 15, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — Hundreds of supporters of gun reform were met with counter protesters on Wednesday, but despite the additional attendees, the speakers persisted.

“I wasn’t surprised," said Saylor Reinders, a speaker at the rally and an MSU sophomore. "I know that they’ve shown up to other protests as well. But for me, while I was up there, I just tried to ignore them.”

Gun rights activists shouted and used megaphones during the speaking portion of the event.

“I know why I’m here, and they’re not going to silence me," Reinders said.

The event featured special guest, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011. In the years since, she has become a staunch advocate for gun reform, which is why she came to Michigan and why Sue Garrity came to Wednesday’s rally.

“We want kids to be safe in school, and gun safety is just one of those things that just makes common sense," she said.

Garrity explained that she wasn’t surprised to see a counter protest develop, but she feels gun reform is like any other common-sense safety reform.

“It’s a lot like when seatbelts were introduced," she said. "All kinds of things we take as common-sense, ordinary measures.”

But counter protester Jon Rocha said he feels we don’t need more gun laws.

“Putting more laws on the books when we’re not enforcing the laws that are currently on the books are not going to save anybody," he said. "The only thing that’s going to do is prevent people from going out and saving and defending themselves.”

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