‘Standing in Solidarity’ demonstration happened in Oak Harbor

While thousands of people marched across the nation in “March for Our Lives” demonstrations, a group of Oak Harbor residents decided to “stand in solidarity” on Saturday.

Pam Fick organized the event for those who want to advocate for gun reform but aren’t able to go to the large marches or maybe aren’t able to march at all.

Approximately 30 people held up signs on the corner of West Pioneer Way and Beeksma Drive, many of them supporting the students who have started speaking out after the shooting in Parkland, Fla.

“I’m backing the kids up,” Fick said. “I’m standing with them.”

About five students attended the demonstration. Jilian Gonzalez, who graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 2017, said she participated because gun violence has recently become “an anxiety” of hers.

“It’s time for a change,” she said.

As far as what those changes might look like, Fick said the people there weren’t advocating for taking away all guns, but rather limiting what can be sold.

“We don’t need guns that were intended for the military,” she said.

Mike and Danielle Rambo said as gun owners, they also advocate for tighter restrictions. They support waiting periods, an enhanced vetting process and maybe even licenses that would have to be renewed to continue to possess guns.

Danielle Rambo said as a car owner, she doesn’t resist the requirement to maintain her driver’s license and thinks it could be a similar process.

“I don’t consider it an infringement on my rights to make it harder for anyone, including myself, to buy a gun,” she said.

Mike Rambo, a former police officer, said that knowing anyone could have military-style guns would make the job a lot harder, and those kinds of guns have “no place in civilized society.”

“If you want to shoot war-style weaponry, join the service,” he said.

The Rambos, like many in attendance, were supportive of the students in Washington D.C. leading the “March for Our Lives” movement. Alexandria Short, a senior at Oak Harbor High School, said she has been inspired to take action for the cause.

“I believe that in order to change the world, and in order to make the change in society, we have to be the change,” she said.

“And we have to do it now.”