TOMS RIVER — Many of the teens who took part in the March For Our Lives events across the country on Saturday say adults aren't listening to their message. At least two in New Jersey are listening.

Gov. Phil Murphy, who discussed the state's biggest rally in Newark in a statement afterwards, said the legislature will vote on Monday on bills to expand background checks, lower magazine capacity, ban armor-piercing bullets, and ensure individuals deemed by a healthcare professional as a threat to themselves or others don’t have access to a gun.

If they are passed Murphy said he will sign the bills into law.

“Across our state and our nation, young people made it clear they will no longer accept excuses when it comes to passing commonsense laws that will keep our schools, and, indeed, entire communities, safe from gun violence. They made it clear that they want action, not merely more thoughts and prayers. They made it clear that their lives are more valuable than a passing grade or a political donation from the gun lobby," the governor said.

Photographer Danny Clinch, known for his work with many pop and rock stars including Bruce Springsteen, was at the Asbury Park march on Saturday.

"It was really powerful and really moving," Clinch told Tom Cunningham during the Bruce Brunch on Townsquare Media's 105.7 The Hawk. Clinch, a Toms River native, said he got emotional when he spotted students holding posters with photos of the victims of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

"I felt like it was important to be there to support. I was photographing as well. Politics aside, I think the laws are old and they need to be revisited. I want people to have their rights.I just think there are certain things that could be changed to be more positive," he told Cunningham.

Alexander P. Roubian, executive director of the Second Amendment Society of New Jersey, wondered whether students will march in support of St. Mary's County Sheriff's Department Deputy 1st Class Blaine Gaskill as well. Gaskill is the school resource officer at Great Mills High School whose shot killed 17-year-old Austin Rollins as he opened fire at the Maryland school. He is credited for preventing more deaths.

"It's sad these students are marching against their own interests," Roubian said. "We believe that after the Maryland incident where an armed resource officer stopped a potential massacre you would believe they'd be marching to have more armed guards and more armed protection in their schools," Roubian said.

On the organization's Twitter account Roubian called Saturday's march the "March for Attention."

"They were never appalled or 'rose up' to speak about violence until the incident at Parkland happened. Every day, every year, every month hundreds of people are being killed in our urban inner cities by all types of violence. They only seem to be appalled when children in a white neighborhood were attacked and killed."

Students are planning their next action to keep attention on the issue of gun violence: a walkout on Friday, April 20 to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

According to the organizer's website, "This issue needs constant attention if we hope to change anything, so multiple events on multiple days is a productive way to help fight for our cause, a safer country."

Students from over a dozen New Jersey schools have signed up for a walkout. However, as with the March 14 walkout, student organizers will meet with school administrators to work out details.

 

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