Democrats in the U.S. Senate held a hearing Wednesday as part of their push for stronger gun laws.
Panelists included a survivor of last month’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, as well as people affected by other mass shootings on school campuses, including Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech.
Senators also heard from a sophomore at Hood River Valley High School who is helping organize a student walkout in the rural district.
Today, Hood River student Eva Jones spoke out at a hearing to call on Congress to act on gun safety. I was impressed by our discussion at my #2018townhall in Odell. Eva is leading by example to push for change at every level & hold lawmakers accountable. #RonReport pic.twitter.com/UAhprVCEKt— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) March 8, 2018
Eva Jones described a sense of fear among her classmates that dates back to middle school.She recalled friends who would jump at the sight of sudden visitors at the classroom door, and feeling sickened by instinctively searching new classrooms for the best places to hide in the event of an armed intruder.
Jones called for tighter rules on guns, including expanded background checks and a ban on semi-automatic weapons.
"We are the ones most affected by these shootings and we can not even vote," Jones told the Senate Democrats.
"It is infuriating to have our lives valued less than a collectible," she added. "We will not accept this. We are sick of living like this and I can assure you, we will be relentless.”
Jones joins a growing group of students across the country who are leading the activist charge against gun violence since 17 students and teachers were killed at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.
Schools across the country are preparing for student walkouts March 14, the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting in Florida.
Those testifying on Wednesday supported stronger background checks, closing loopholes and a crackdown on military-style weapons.
Senators said several of those are part of Democrat-backed legislation, but passing those would require support from Republicans who have historically resisted gun control measures.