Santa Fe students speak in Houston week after high school shooting

HOUSTON – Some students from Santa Fe High School spoke to reporters Friday, a week after a shooting at their school killed 10 people and injured 13 others.

The students participated in a news conference in Houston that was organized by March for Our Lives, the group that formed after the massacre at a Parkland, Florida, school.

Organizers said the students used the event to “amplify their voices.”

Four students from Santa Fe High School said they don’t want to take people’s guns away, but do want some sort of safety measure.

"... a week ago today, a gunman opened fire in my high school. Ten people out of my school of 1,400 were killed. I’m here today to ensure that never happens to anyone else,” explained 18-year-old Bree Butler, a senior at Santa Fe High School. 

Brooklynn Butler, 17-year-old Megan McGuire and 18-year-old Kennedy Rodriguez, all students at the Santa Fe High School, joined Bree Butler and other youth from March for Our Lives Houston.

The grass-roots group made up of high schoolers and young adults helped the teens meet with Houston police, in addition to organizing a press conference. 

“It’s so important to understand that none of us are trying to take your guns away,” said Bree Butler. “My father owns guns. I’ve grown up with guns in my house but they have been locked up in a safe with a password I do not know.”

Bree Butler, along with her classmates, proposed regulations making it mandatory for gun owners to properly secure their firearms, making it mandatory for gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons and making mental health background checks for not only the gun owners but family members, too.  

“When I say gun safety, I don’t mean to take away responsible gun owners' guns. My dad is a gun owner, my grandfathers are gun owners. I don’t want to take away their guns, or your guns for that matter,” explained McGuire, a junior who said she fully supports the Second Amendment.

The view of how to solve mass shootings changed for Rodriguez who admitted she initially thought it was an easy fix until it happened at her school.

“I used to be so angry because I thought the answer was so simple and then it happened in my hometown, and now I see its complexities and understand there is no simple solution,” Rodriguez said.

The senior said she realizes it’s a multifaceted issue.

Many in the Santa Fe community do not believe guns are the problem and the students said they recognize school safety is more than just guns.

“Everyone has different opinions on this and I’m not here to discount their opinions. They might think that, but we’re going to fight for what we think is right and what we believe will be the solution to this,“ said Bree Butler.

The students said while they don’t want to take guns away, they do want to see more security at schools, along with more mental health services. 

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