HARTFORD — “Guns hold so much more importance than people think they do,” said Sydni Naylor, a freshman at Metropolitan Learning Center in Bloomfield.
On Saturday, thousands of youth will descend on the nation’s capital to show the country how important gun safety is to them.
Naylor will be one of the.
“I have a lot of friends who have been personally impacted by gun violence you know,” she said.
Attendees will be marching in solidarity with survivors and supporters of the Parkland, Florida shooting — at the ‘March For Our Lives’ in Washington, D.C.
Naylor will be with dozens of other members of the YMCA Achievers program from Hartford and surrounding areas.
“It is nothing short of amazing to see kids like myself looking to make a change in the world,” Sydni said.
“It’s about gun violence and control of violence,” said Tristan Williams, another YMCA achiever. “And we’re marching so we can get our word out.”
Anthony Barrett, who is the Executive Director of the Wilson Gray YMCA Youth and Family Learning Center in Hartford, said the issue is nothing new to the kids who come here.
“As you know Hartford is one of the highest homicide rates in the state,” Barrett said. “So it’s very powerful and we have our young folks really understanding the issue.”
“Traditionally, guns are for adults but now anybody can have access to a gun,” said Tristan’s brother, Tylor. “And now a days youth often have them.”
Tylor and Tristan will be waking up bright and early to take the trip with their mother in the hopes of finding a solution to the problem.”
“I’m hoping something does change and that people are more worried about the issue and they have a better understanding about it,” Tristan said.
Sydni has a few solutions of her own
“Implementing ID badges,” she said. “More security. Or whether you apply mental health screening for the people who are purchasing these guns.”
As tragic as the Parkland, Florida shooting was Sydni, Tylor and Tristan know they could easily be victims of gun violence themselves.
“Kids like me shouldn’t have to die every day because people don’t know how to control themselves and latest liters don’t know that passed laws that restrict what they do,” Sydni said.