COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As thousands of parents and students took part in the March For Our Lives event Saturday morning in Columbia, a certain group of young people said they feel their voices are being left out of the conversation.
March For Our Lives organizers said the purpose of the march was a call for increased gun regulations. Within its mission statement, the group said it is demanding a "comprehensive and efficient bill immediately introduced in Congress to address gun violence."
As marchers took to the streets in downtown Columbia, young conservatives said because their opinions don't fit the narrative, they are being left out of the spotlight.
"I think we're in the silent majority of students who actually believe in the second amendment rights and a common-sense approach to gun violence," Pete Leventis, a sophomore at A.C. Flora High School, said. "I feel like I can't show my true colors, I have to tone it down at school even though myself I believe to be a moderate Republican."
Students taking part in the march said they are afraid to go to school every day, fearing their school will become the next victim to a school shooting.
"I'm here because I want to feel safe at school and I think assault rifles are just not necessary for anyone to own," Ally Montgomery, a student, said.
"We're here demanding action because it could have been any school," Sydney Blass said. "17 people could have lost their lives at my school and that's scary and I shouldn't be afraid to go to school where I'm getting a public education."
Several young conservatives like Leventis said they believe increased background checks, metal detectors, and more school resource officers are potential solutions to curbing school violence.
"A lot of the liberals do these marches and they definitely get their voices out there and there's nothing wrong with that, it's their right," Wells McElveen, a senior at A.C. Flora High School, said. "But I think to an extent the conservatives are overlooked."
Those taking part in the march said the issue of school safety is a non-partisan one and encourage Republicans and Democrats to come together to pass comprehensive legislation that would address gun violence.