Activists and a group of local high school students gathered Wednesday evening in Valencia to voice their thoughts on gun violence and call for more legislation in the wake of recent shootings.
During the Night of Action to Prevent Gun Violence, held at Marketplace Park on Newhall Ranch Road, an estimated 50 attendees heard from Rep. Katie Hill, D-Santa Clarita, who called for support on two gun control measures passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives that the Republican-controlled Senate has not yet taken up.
“Does it worry you that here in our neighborhoods we don’t know if we can safely go out to a community gathering, places of worship?” Hill said. “I don’t care who you are — if you’re a Democrat, Republican or have never voted in your life. If that’s not something that you are OK with, then you need to show up and vote.”
Those opposed to the measures argue the bills would fail to curb gun violence and overstep on law-abiding citizens’ rights.
The event, organized by Canyon Country-based political activist group CA25 United for Progress, invited Hill and groups such as Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action and Unitarian Universalists of Santa Clarita.
Several Valencia High School students, who were on a soft lockdown following reports Wednesday of a suspicious individual seen near the campus, called the event timely.
“Realizing how real it is, the gravity of a moment like that, and then coming straight here,” said Cassidy Bensko, a Valencia High junior, “It was so scary and I think everyone assumed the worst.”