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Gun owners among demonstrators for tougher laws at Wareham rally

WAREHAM—Supporters of responsible gun ownership were among the 150 people who rallied outside Town Hall on Saturday to demand an end to gun violence.

The gathering was one of hundreds of organized events around the country recognizing the March for our Lives movement, founded in 2018 after the school shootings in Parkland, Fla.

Rather than march, demonstrators stood together along Route 6 to remember those killed in a Texas classroom last month. Many held signs reading "Enough," as drivers honked in support of tighter restrictions on gun sales.

Middle school art teacher Maria Pauline brought her granddaughters from Taunton.

"We shouldn't have to practice having school-shooting drills," said Angelina, a freshman.

Her Nana said her classroom conversations have changed since the shootings in Uvalde.

"They say, 'Mrs. Pauline, is our lockdown room really safe?' I'm tired of answering those questions. My family owns guns. I've shot guns, I've hunted with my dad. No one needs an assault rifle. No one."

Sandy Cormier of Wareham, a Democrat who organized the event, is a gun owner pushing for federal lawmakers to pass universal background checks and raise the age on buyers.

"I have my license to carry, I'm a responsible gun owner," Cormier said. "I'm thankful that I'm in Massachusetts where we have really good gun laws, and that it wouldn't happen here. And I'm banking on that it's not going to be my grandson that this is going to happen to."

Elizabeth Light of Plymouth has a son in 5th grade and has advocated for gun control since the Sandy Hook school shootings 10 years ago.

"We're not anti-gun," she said. "He plays Fortnight, he plays all those video games. It's more about responsibility."

Alan Tsoi was among the student demonstrators set to graduate later this month.

"I'm just happy that all my classmates are here," said Tsoi, class president at Sturgis East Charter Public School in Hyannis.

Nearby, 21 empty chairs sat empty on the Town Hall lawn to honor each student and teacher killed in Uvalde days before their summer break.

About 30 people rallied outside the Methodist Church on Nantucket. The Cape chapter of Grandmothers Against Gun Violence will gather Tuesday at the Hyannis Rotary.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.