From Columbine To Parkland, Student Activists Talk Out What’s Changed

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Photo: Rachel Hill and Ben Gelt student activists Columbine guns
Rachel Hill, a current student at Columbine High School, with Ben Gelt, who was a senior at Denver East High School when the Columbine shooting happened in 1999.

Almost two decades after the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, students here are still protesting for gun reform. Activists from each generation share their stories on Colorado Matters.

Rachel Hill is a current Columbine student and one of the lead organizers for Vote for Our Lives, which formed after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. She was not yet born during the 1999 Columbine shooting that sparked a nationwide debate over gun reform.

That debate included Ben Gelt, who was then a senior at Denver East High School. Within days of the Columbine shooting, he became a leader in a state and nationwide organizing effort to change gun laws. He was instrumental in growing an organization called Sane Alternatives to the Firearms Epidemic, or SAFE. Gelt helped pass legislation in 2000 that closed gun show loopholes in Colorado.

Hill and Gelt sat down with Colorado Matters to talk about what has and hasn't changed in nearly two decades.