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Medina Democratic Club rallies for gun safety

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    Members of the Medina Democratic Club gather at Medina Square on Friday to protest gun violence and promote safer gun ownership.

    ALYSSA ALFANO / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — A group of parents, former educators and residents rallied Friday evening at Medina Square wearing orange shirts to advocate stricter gun control.

Gun violence has been more prominent in the news in recent years because of shootings like those at Pulse Night Club, Sandy Hook Elementary School and Parkland High School. Wear Orange Weekend, which started Friday and continues through Sunday, and Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday provided the opportunity for members of the Medina Democratic Club to express their views.

“I guess, as an educator, I’m just very concerned about the impact on schools and on society as a whole,” said Bill Thombs, president of the club. “I’ve even had folks our age, grandparents, say ‘You know, I worry about my grandkids going to school every day anymore.’”

Thombs and other members agree that better background checks, restrictions on the types of guns that can be sold and buyback programs are ways to help reduce gun violence.

“I’m a retired educator. I was a high school teacher and a guidance counselor for 30 years and I would not be able to go into the classroom today, I don’t believe, without fear — and that’s wrong,” said Nancy Bancheek, a member of the Medina Democratic Club. “We just need stronger gun laws. We need stronger background checks, and we need our government — both houses — to come together and do something.”

The group stood on the corner of the square across from Courthouse Pizza with their signs. Drivers and passersby either honked in support of stricter gun control or shouted their support for the Second Amendment.

“We want to open the conversation and we invite people to come talk to us,” Bancheek said.

Both sides of the argument have received flak but that doesn’t stop people from gathering to try and spread their views and information about issues like gun control and gun violence.

Negative feedback hasn’t stopped the Medina Democratic Club from gathering to continue the conversation.

“I think for me, it’s just the sadness that I feel when I see the news and yet another person is taken by gun violence, another life has gone out,” said Sandy Varndell about why she attends rallies like the one on Friday.

Contact reporter Alyssa Alfano at (330) 721-4063 or aalfano@medina-gazette.com.
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