David Hogg and Jaclyn Corin, leaders in March for Our Lives movement, to appear in Park City Saturday
David Hogg and Jaclyn Corin, two survivors of the 2018 massacre of 17 students and faculty at their high school in Parkland, Florida, are set to take the stage for an interview on gun violence and their subsequent activism at 7:30 p.m. at the Eccles Center in Park City on Saturday.
Tickets for the event are available at the Park City Institute’s website, and the appearance is partly sponsored by Intermountain Healthcare.
“What we experienced over a year and a half ago is becoming the reality of more and more Americans as the days pass,” Corin, one of the founders of the activist organization March for Our Lives, said in an email. “And it is all of our responsibilities to continue to fight against the gun lobby and our complacent, selfish politicians.”
Corin and Hogg, teenagers who are now both freshmen at Harvard, have garnered a lot of attention — positive and negative — in their push for solutions to America’s gun violence problem, which doesn’t just include mass murders like the one that killed their friends, classmates and teachers.
According to the Washington Post, 1,207 Americans have died in mass shootings since the University of Texas tower shooting in 1966. And according to Gun Violence Archive, a non-activist database of incidents in the U.S., almost 11,000 have died in all gun-related incidents so far this year, which is more than twice the number of Americans killed in action during the Iraq War.
There have been 301 mass shootings in 2019 so far, with the most recent claiming the lives of seven people in West Texas on Aug. 31. A bill for stricter background check requirements has not yet been voted on in the Senate.
Park City has seen large-scale demonstrations on the issue in recent years. Last year, thousands, including a group of Parkland students, participated in the first March for Our Lives on Main Street in Park City, and hundreds of Park City High School students walked out of class as part of a nationwide protest.
Corin said people who favor stricter gun laws must continue to advocate for them, even in states like Utah, which has been governed by pro-gun rights conservatives for generations.
“It is up to Utahns to talk to their representatives and get personal with them; a face-to-face conversation is bound to have a more profound effect on a politician than a simple tweet,” Corin said.
The Park City community, like others across the nation, has felt anxiety over the trend of mass shootings. Law enforcement officials, for instance, conducted an active threat drill at the Marsac Building on Friday.
Teri Orr, executive director of the Park City Institute, said that having two of the nation’s highest-profile gun violence activists in town reflects the Park City community’s engagement on the issue and that, while the most recent wave of protest has been led by students, their parents and grandparents have a responsibility to help bring an end to the problem as well.
“What we need to do is to keep fostering healthy discussions and we need to show them by example how we’re willing to lead in our communities,” Orr said in an interview.
As for Corin and Hogg — the people, not the headlines — speaking engagements such as the one in Park City have become less common since they’re college freshmen and adapting to life on campus. Corin said they’ve transferred leadership of March for Our Lives as they focus on, well, living their lives.
“The work will always continue, even if we’re not the ones leading the charge every day.”
Editor’s note: Teri Orr writes a weekly column for The Park Record.
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