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Uvalde march organizer wants to reunite the community around gun control

MILES PARKS, HOST:

In Texas, activists are marching today to remember the victims of the deadly massacre in Uvalde and to advocate for gun safety. Sofia Torres is 19, and she's attending the rally. And she joins me now from Uvalde. Sofia, thank you so much for being here.

SOFIA TORRES: Of course. Of course.

PARKS: Sofia, how do you feel like the city has changed in the, you know, month and a half or so since this awful attack?

TORRES: So the city is definitely divided. You feel the anger towards the city, towards the DPS, towards the police. There's Facebook, and there's a lot of comments on there that are just - they're very upset with the police since there hasn't been much transparency. And it's been pretty rough, I think. There's been, like, a huge divide. And at first, I think the community was very welcoming, and it was very united. And I think since then, I think that's gone.

PARKS: And it sounds like you kind of want to see this event that you guys are attending and your sign-making event today as kind of pushing towards a more united city. Is that right?

TORRES: Yes. That's - I think that's the goal here, to remind each other that we're here for each other, and we're not against each other. We all want the same thing. We all want change. We all want some sort of justice.

PARKS: Tell me a little bit about that change. I guess in a perfect world, you know, what would you like to see come out of events like this?

TORRES: Quite honestly, I just hope this never happens to another community, another family, none of that. I think in a perfect world, that's the change that we would like to see, when stuff like this doesn't have to happen anymore.

PARKS: Was gun violence a part of your life at all before this attack, or is this the first time you're kind of coming into contact with it?

TORRES: No. This is definitely the first time I've ever came into contact with it. My family and I never really had anything to do with guns, really. And the - definitely what happened here forced me to open my eyes and to really research it and learn about.

PARKS: How has it changed you? How's the attack changed you as a person?

TORRES: I think it's made me realize that there's so many things, there are so many issues that I think just get swept under the rug or are usually just like - like, people forget about. And that's what I don't want to happen. I don't want Uvalde just to be another statistic. I don't want it to just be another, you know, sad little place. I want there to be a change. I want people to remember Uvalde and think of all the activism and think about the families that fought for that change.

PARKS: Do you plan to do more of this sort of activism going forward?

TORRES: Yes. I - we definitely do. I think this is the first step forward in that. And I think from there, we'll definitely move forward and see what the community, what the people want to really do with this.

PARKS: Sofia Torres is attending a gun control rally in Uvalde today. Sofia, thank you so much for taking some time to talk with us.

TORRES: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF FULTON ST BRUNCH CLUB'S "OLDSKOOL ISSUES") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.