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  • Writer's pictureMary

March for our Lives

I'm a photojournalist- which is one of the reasons Mary and I shoot so well together. She's beyond great at portraits and smiles, and me, I'm great at finding hidden gems. I often describe our partnership by saying "She's great at creating moments, those beautiful bridal shots, the stunning dress shot and the sparkle of the, I'm great at finding moments. Those fraction of a second smiles while dancing, the tear rolling down a grooms face before it's wiped away, the bridesmaid trying to hold her tears in while giving a toast but inevitably just bursting into tears. That's why we work so well together."

I get called out to many types of assignments for the publications that I shoot for, you can find my work in #Texappeal magazine, the #Killeendailyhearld , #vw magazine, and #Texasparksandwildlife and a few more. A couple weeks ago I was assigned to cover the #Killeen March for Our Lives gun reform protest in downtown Killeen.

The march was short, but followed by an emotionally charged and lengthy rally, of which, #Texasopencarry supporters arrived halfway through to counter protest. Assembling quietly behind the mass of teenagers, teachers, parents, civic leaders and elementary school students, displaying their guns but otherwise showing no outwards signs of aggression towards the #marchforourlives protesters.

Now, this isn't the first time I've been in what could have been a very crazy situation. There were plenty of those when the BLM protests started. However, this one potentially raised the stakes a little bit. On one side were very emotionally charged students and on the other, very armed equally emotionally charged gun activists. There were whispers of a potentially violent outcome throughout the scared and nervous crowd of marchers.

Part of a national movement taking place around the same time, the marches throughout the country were mostly put together by high school students looking to make a change to the gun laws. What I was told from one of the guest speakers on the March for Our Lives side was that "We're not trying to ban guns, we just feel that there should be sensible gun laws put in place to prevent more school shootings"

All in all, the protest marched on peacefully, there were no shots fired at anyone, no screaming gun waiving matches, both sides executed their right to assemble peacefully and ethically, good form.

If you haven't already, make sure to follow our Instagram pages! @mikebartoszek ---- @oakheart_mary

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