High school students lead anti-gun violence rally in downtown Dayton

Anti-gun rally on Courthouse Square

(UPDATE @ 8:01 p.m.):Two high schools seniors spearheaded an anti-gun violence rally Wednesday afternoon on Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton to urge lawmakers and the White House to push for safer gun laws.

"We are pushing our lawmakers to push for sensible gun laws and to move forward," Sammy Caruso, an Oakwood High School senior, said.

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"This issue of gun violence has become so real, with so many students today, it is our duty to stand up against these issues if they are going to be affecting us the most."

About 50 or so adults and students joined Caruso and rally organizing partner Sophia Gipson, a senior at Kettering Fairmont High School.

Mayor Nan Whaley was scheduled to address the rally.

Caruso said he and Gipson participated in a protest following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., as well as a rally at the Fraze in April 2018 for the 19th anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. That was the third mass student-led, anti-gun violence rally since the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Wednesday’s rally comes 17 days after the Dayton shooting in the Oregon District, which left nine people dead and dozens injured.

Caruso said he and Gipson also are pushing for Congressman Mike Turner to give money he gets from the National Rifle Association to the Dayton Foundation for victim relief. Caruso put the amount at $25,000.

Turner has received $21,995 from the NRA’s political action committee during the time he has been in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to Cleveland.com, which reported data gathered by PoliticalMoneyLine and the Center for Responsive Politics.

Turner has been in Congress since 2002.

This news organization has asked Turner for a response to the challenge from Caruso and Gipson.

On Aug. 6, Turner said he backs a ban on sales of military-style guns, magazine limits and "red flag" legislation to identify dangerous individuals and remove their firearms. He has an "A" rating from the NRA and in 2018 earned the organization’s support for opposing a ban on semi-automatic firearms -- commonly called "assault weapons."

We will update this developing report.

(This web burst corrects earlier reporting to clear up a misconception that Congressman Turner received $21,995 from the NRA in February 2018.)