ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - In a rally to end gun violence, thousands of people descended on the steps of the state Capitol bearing signs.
The story behind Dianne Ploetz’s statement is filled with great pain.
“We tried everything to protect her,” Ploetz said.
Her daughter, Michelle, was shot and killed four years ago. She was only 20 years old. The gunman was an estranged boyfriend.
“We don’t want that to ever, ever happen to any other family, it’s a daily hell,” Ploetz told Fox 9.
Experiencing the impact of gun violence first hand, Ploetz joins a growing movement that is calling on lawmakers to strengthen gun control laws.
According to an organization advocating for gun control, gun violence deaths are the third leading cause of death for children. Approximately three million are exposed to shootings each year.
“Anyone can get a gun anywhere, and it’s ridiculous,” Ploetz continued. “We have to protect our children, we have to protect our families and we’re not going to stop until there’s real change.”
Farrah Fattig, a local high school junior said that a student once threatened to bring a gun to school and she hasn’t felt safe since.
“The guns we have today are so powerful that you can shoot 45 bullets per minute,” said Fattig. “I don’t want to live in a world where we have to worry if we’re going to die at school or not.”
Students like Fattig are why Ploetz believes she has a lot to gain, after suffering such a great loss.
“I beg people to get out there and make a difference and if our elected officials aren’t going to do anything to protect our families then we’re going to have to elect people who will do it,” Ploetz said.