Marching for their lives to demand gun control

300 march in student organized event


By Brianna Ferguson, Student Journalist

Peekskill students, parents, and teachers joined hundreds of March For Our Lives rallies across the country last Saturday, June 11, making their voices heard against gun violence. March For Our Lives is a national, student-led organization in support of gun control legislation. Organizer Angeline Carlos-Caceras, a rising senior at Peekskill High School, couldn’t locate a march within 25 miles, so she hosted her own. 

“I always felt like Peekskill is such a close community so I feel that I was able to host a march in less than 2 weeks and so many people came out to support. It really shows how much people are there for each other. More than 300 people and about 15-20 students were able to come and share their voices in support. It meant a lot to me that students’ voices are being heard and our voices matter. The adults there still made sure that we knew our voices were being heard and that change will be done eventually, said Carlos- Caceres.

March organizer Angeline Carlos-Caceras speaking at the event.


I’m also a rising senior at Peekskill High School and am planning my future and thinking about all my possibilities and success. I plan to graduate high school and walk across that stage to receive my diploma for all the hard work I have done throughout the years. Then I plan to get into a good college where I can start a new chapter in my life. You go to school everyday to learn and to see your friends and laugh and make memories with them. Students should be learning something new everyday, not learning how to do lockdown drills. Hiding themselves in corners of classrooms, waiting to see if someone with a gun will actually walk through the door and shoot. A student should not cover herself in blood just to make the shooter think she is dead so she can survive. Students and teachers should not have to go through such traumatic experiences in a place where they want to learn. Children should not be thinking, will I die today? 

The author Brianna Ferguson carries the sign,  ‘No more silence, end gun violence.’  Photo by Jim Brooks

The children at Sandy Hook Elementary, Robb Elementary School, Columbine High School, Stoneman Douglas High School and more had the same desires as me; planning ahead for their future. But it was taken from them too soon. 

Carlos- Caceres describes her experience as a student in this generation having to see and hear about school shootings. “The first time it really set in was when we had an emergency drill in the fifth grade and the whole grade was in the cafeteria and all of a sudden there was an announcement saying “lockdown, lockdown, lockdown”.  Kids were running towards the cafeteria and we’re running to the curtains on the stage. It was a very harsh experience and I remember many kids crying and feeling scared. Not a lot of us had phones because we are only 10 years old. It was just not a fun experience and I think that’s when it set in that people die in situations like this.”

“I’ve heard of shootings before but that was really like the first time I thought something might happen and I’ve never felt more terrified in my life. I think being a student and having to fear for your life and having to walk into a classroom and think about what’s the fastest exit is just not something you should be thinking about.  You should be going to school and learning and hanging out with your friends, not wondering if you’re going to die today,” said Carlos-Caceres.   

Marchers from throughout the area came to Peekskill to march against gun violence. Photo by Jim Brooks

She continued, “Why does an 18 year old get to buy an automated weapon that is designed to fire bullets at 400 rounds per minute? These are the most deadly weapons being sold to people at 18 years old. These weapons are designed to kill, why does an 18 year old think the need to have one? 

“You don’t get to end mass shootings but you can prevent them and I think the first step is gun control. If you look at the statistics, just this year alone in the United States we have had a very high number of mass shootings compared to outside of this country in the past five years, or even ten years. That’s because we don’t have gun control, we don’t have enough of it,” Carlos- Caceres says.  The United States had more than 250 mass shootings in 2022 alone. When will it end? When will there be change?