Kalamazoo Central students launch petition for change after Florida shooting

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Seniors at Kalamazoo Central High School created a petition in hopes of convincing lawmakers to make changes to gun laws, and help make schools and society safer.

The petition was created a day after the mass shooting that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday. It already has more than 4,000 signatures.

“This petition is trying to give a voice to the voiceless, the students," said one of the students, Jake Foles. "We don’t have the ability to vote, we’re trying to be heard in any way we can.”

Wednesday's mass shooting in Florida hit home with area students because many people were impacted by the deadly Kalamazoo shootings two years ago. Six people died and two others were critically injured by alleged gunman Jason Dalton.

“It’s something that’s already affecting us, something we’re directly in involved in that we need to action about, because frankly a lot people in Congress aren’t doing much. And we want to see something happen," said Julia Kemple-Johnson, another student.

It's a petition that students hope will lead to a  law to make guns illegal on school campuses altogether.

“We’re trying to take this petition as far as we can, make the legislature enact laws that will help make us feel safe in schools," said Kemple-Johnson. "We shouldn’t have to go to school every other week and talk about another shooting.”

“There’s no place for guns in schools" said Foles. "When we’re at school, we should be focused on our education. We shouldn’t have to worry at all about guns that could end our lives in an instant," he said.

In a Facebook post, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow said she stands with students wanting change in gun laws, and it's time for action.

FOX 17 reached out to Michigan Congressman Fred Upton's office for comment about the petition, but we haven't heard back.

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    • Paul Brandt

      I agree, the method of murder is irrelevant, what we should be united in fighting against is the causes. Mental health is one big issue we see right now, but the over all issue is the devaluation of life and personal worth in our society. Liberal policies in general degrade humanity.

  • Michi

    Obviously it is another generation of non -thinkers. Just because a law says you can’t do something, it doesn’t stop it from happening. That is why our prisons our over crowded!! Criminals Don’t listen and abide by the laws. Why do houses still get broken into and stores and banks get robbed? All of those activities are illegal. How is there such a deficit of logic in people who want to put the blame on guns? Criminals will ALWAYS find a way to break any law that is set in place. All this does is trample the non- criminals rights. These kids should be more concerned about how the guy got into their school. Because next time it might be someone with a bomb strapped to to their chest and no warning. Are the doors locked at the school? Who watches the cameras in the school and didn’t observe a guy with a bag or a gun in the hallway? Who let the guy in the door? There is no easy fix. People have to put in effort. Passing a bill that guns are illegal on school campuses, won’t help me sleep any better knowing I’m sending my kids to school the next morning.

  • Chief Waukazoo

    When do these situations end? Most often when someone show up with a gun, a policeman, security guard or someone with a carry license. Maybe if some teachers were trained to defend themselves, or if security guards had guns things would be different. People who do this know they are safe, there are no guns in schools, so no one will shoot them! How many of us would put a sign out in front of our house saying “This is a gun free zone” ?

  • Chief Waukazoo

    Maybe we could build a billboard size sign in front of every school that says “Guns are not allowed in this school – It’s the Law!”. We could light the billboard at night, have strobes on it too. Certainly that would cause any would-be shooter to understand that he may not take his gun to school! He would turn around and go back home.

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