In Hillsborough, One Man Marched Alone for Gun Reforms | Orange County | Indy Week
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In Hillsborough, One Man Marched Alone for Gun Reforms 

click to enlarge William Lappenbusch

Araceli Cruz

William Lappenbusch

William Lappenbusch walked up and down Churton Street in downtown Hillsborough protesting gun control for roughly three hours on Saturday—all by himself.

The forty-eight-year-old Hillsborough resident, who’s been part of this community for more than a decade, said he would have remained at Saturday’s March for Our Lives protest in Durham but wanted to take his message to a place where it would be more meaningful.

“There’s a couple of ways of doing it, right?” Lappenbusch said. “You can go to these marches where everyone agrees and you don’t really have an impact, or you can go to small towns where it’s very controversial like this and half the people are honking for me and half the people are cursing me.”

Lappenbusch said that while a couple of police officers drove by and nodded at him—because, he says, “they don’t want AR-15s out there either”—one passing driver showed him his gun. He said the man didn’t point the gun at him, he just held it up and said: “This hasn’t killed anyone.”

“We have to convince ourselves that this is ultimately something that is important to everybody, and the voters need to make their voices be heard such that our representatives have the courage to make some changes,” Lappenbusch said.

While Saturday’s nationwide marches against gun violence were organized after seventeen students were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the cause has become a bigger outcry for the safety of students everywhere.

“We don’t need military-style weapons in the public domain,” Lappenbusch argued.

Sister marches were held in Raleigh and Durham, garnering crowds of thousands. Lappenbusch protested in Hillsborough Saturday morning, then headed to the rally in Durham. He later returned to his town to protest for another hour.

Lappenbusch says he asked some people to join him in Hillsborough but for one reason or another they turned him down. Despite feeling anxious about protesting alone, he said that if he could change one person’s mind, it would have been worth it.

Protesting gun violence in Hillsborough might not be the most comfortable thing to do, Lappenbusch said, “but you have to do it. Kids are dying.”

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