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Lawmakers, students, others convene for town hall on school safety

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - School shooters have killed more than two dozen people across the country this year. Local students said they're tired of feeling scared. That's why they organized the North Carolina Town Hall for School Safety to talk about how to prevent school shootings. 

Hundreds of people filled the Sanderson High School Auditorium to hear from panelists including lawmakers, law enforcement officers, and mental health professionals.

EARLIER: Raleigh students organizing town hall to discuss school shootings

Just about everyone who attended the event worries about school shootings. 

"It's not something we should have to deal with every day coming to school wondering if we're going to make it home," said Sanderson student Emmy Wisz. 

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Parents, too, said they fear for their children's lives every morning they leave for school. 

"I pray she'll come home," said Danny Bryant.

"I'm here tonight for the 17 lives that were lost in my community in Parkland Florida who no longer have voices," said Majory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate Marie Gualtieri. 

They came for a conversation about preventing school shootings. Panelists discussed what leads to school shootings, school safety funding, resource officers, and of course, guns.

"I'm optimistic we will reach a point where we will pass commonsense gun reform," said State senator Jay Chaudhuri, a Democrat.

Republican state senator John Alexander felt differently

"Gun laws, I think, are pretty good, and they're tough to change," he said. 

While not all panelists agreed on all issues, many people who came to the town hall said it's a good start to a conversation. 

"I think what's really important is that we talk about bipartisanship, and we talk about compromise, and we talk about coming together because it's not a partisan issue. It's a morals issue. It's an issue of life and death," Gualtieri said.

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