Student survivors from the school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month have sparked a national movement and reawakened the call for stricter gun laws. They've organized a national march in Washington, D.C. called March for Our Lives. Hundreds of rallies will be held in cities across the U.S. and the world, including Boston. Northeastern University students Leslie Chiu and Beca Muñoz, both Parkland natives, spoke with WGBH's Morning Edition host Joe Mathieu at the WGBH studio at the Boston Public Library about the rally set to take place on Boston Common. A transcript of their conversation is below and has been edited for clarity. 

Joe Mathieu: You're listening to WGBH's Morning Edition. Tomorrow, hundreds of young people are expected to converge on Boston Common to call for an end to gun violence. It's part of a nationwide movement we've been talking about sparked by the student survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month. Young people here organizing their own March for Our Lives rally. And joining us now, to Parkland natives who currently live in Boston and have been planning tomorrow's march. Two of the organizers joining us in studio here at the Boston Public Library, Beca Muñoz and Leslie Chiu, both students at Northeastern University. Good morning and welcome.

Beca Muñoz and Leslie Chiu: Morning.

JM: What's it been like to see these events unfold in your own hometown, Leslie?

LC: Just horrible. There's no other word for it. It's horrible.

BM: It's also inspirational because people use this tragedy to really push action. And I think we can all follow that lead and we have been following the lead.

JM: You're calling for action on gun control. What do you actually want lawmakers to do in Washington or here in Massachusetts?

LC: Well, on the federal level we're pushing for people to call legislation to push the U.S. House Bill 5087 which will stop the production, possession and sale of assault rifles — automatic assault weapons. And on the state level we're looking for the Red Flag law to be passed — the ERPO bill.

BM: Something else we want to pass is the Massachusetts Senate Bill 2325, which is the equitable funding for education [bill], because gun violence lies at a vital intersection of economic justice and equitable funding for public schools, and that's really something that we want to be pushing.

JM: You guys have made a quick study on legislation. Do you feel like experts now?

BM: Well we were kind of forced to be experts.

JM: Yeah. So tell me about Saturday. Tell me about tomorrow. What's going to happen on Boston Common, or what do you hope happens?

BM: Since this is a student-led movement, this is also targeted for students but also for lawmakers. Something that we hope to accomplish is to spread the message up this isn't just about Parkland. So, yet a really horrible tragedy happened in our hometown, but we also realize that other communities face this problem constantly. Specifically, here in Boston, 80 percent of students in Roxbury will experience gun violence in their lifetime and that's really something that we need to be addressing, and that's something that the media also doesn't pay attention to as much as they do in a town like Parkland, which is affluent and white. And something that we're hoping to call attention to is the fact that communities of color are disproportionately affected by gun violence.

JM: Do you guys believe that politicians are listening?

BM: Well, we'll force them to when we vote them out if they don't take action on what we're asking.

JM: But is that how this ends?

BM: This doesn't end with legislation. This is a movement that we won't let go of, and we will stay united until no child ever has to live with the fear of the bullet, and unfortunately, sometimes there's no piece of legislation that could fix that.This is also an issue with the culture in America around gun violence or around violence in general.

JM: We're talking on WGBH's Morning Edition with Beca Muñoz and Leslie Chiu, both students at Northeastern University who are helping to organize the March for Our Lives rally here in Boston. There has been no action — no meaningful action on a legislative level on Capitol Hill since Parkland. Did you think there would be by now?

LC: I honestly don't know. I think these things take time. And I know the government works slowly, but if we can start the conversation that is still a good step.

BM: Yeah, and even though government hasn't responded, everyone in this nation has and everyone in this nation is going to continue to do so until the government actually takes real action.

JM: And that's enough to keep you out there.

LC: Yes.

JM: Because there has been an amazing reaction. It's been something we see in every corner in every town that people are talking about. But getting up to the level of writing bills and voting on laws is another matter.

BM: And we're the ones who vote.

LC: Yes.

BM: And I highly encourage everyone who's listening, if they aren't registered already, to register to vote and to vote for politicians who support the strongest gun safety measures.

JM: Are you guys both looking forward to the midterms?

LC: Yeah.

BM: I mean, I'm ready.

JM: Because you want to vote against people or vote for them?

BM: I think it's a matter of both. I think we're focusing our energy really on people who are trying to make productive change and proactive change. And it's not so much an issue of attacking the people who, who go against us, more so like supporting the people who are with us.

JM: How often do you talk about this in a casual setting — all the time, some of the time, or never? Is is something that you do when you're in the public eye, or it's time to march, or it's time to get down to business, or is this small talk?

LC: I mean, for me, now I talk about it all the time.

JM: With your colleagues, your contemporaries your age?

LC: Yes.

JM: Yeah.

BM: It's hard. It's hard not to be thinking about it when it's a matter of life or death. I think it's just something that we have to be constantly aware of. Like, people are dying out there, and that's a difficult thing to ignore, especially when we might personally know some of the people in Parkland, specifically in our case, but other people lose family members and cousins and friends to this all the time.

JM: This has been going on for a long time, guys. Columbine was a long time ago now. Have you been back to Parkland since — either of you, both of you?

LC: No

BM: No.

JM: How weird will that be?

LC: I don't know.

JM: Do you look forward to it, or are you nervous about it?

LC: Both.

JM: Yeah?

LC: I've been on FaceTime with multiple family members and I've seen the memorials, but it will be odd.

BM: Yeah, that's something I'm not prepared to think about at the moment

JM: Would you go to the school?

LC: Yeah, I would.

BM: Yeah.

JM: When I heard that they were coming back — 'cause it was, what, a week later? — and they were coming back, there was an orientation. They went the Sunday, and then classes resume the Wednesday. I was heartbroken just imagining what it was like to walk back in that building. You know, they knocked down Sandy Hook. They built a new school. Some folks thought maybe they should do that in Parkland. Do you think it should stand as a monument?

BM: So, my sister goes there and she's a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and I think she gets a lot of strength out of being — obviously, not the buildings specifically where it happened — but she gets so much strength from being with other people who go there. Like, this trauma has caused such a strong connection to her and that place. To quote her, she said a month ago, 'I didn't trust or I don't like anyone at the school, and today they're the only people that I could trust.' And so I know, I know for her it's been really constructive to be with her classmates and to be at Stoneman Douglas, but it's obviously going to be very difficult.

JM: Yeah. Do you feel that way? You don't trust people outside of your circle after this?

BM: So that's actually one of the signs of PTSD, and I can't say that I experienced PTSD with this, but I think it's just important to surround yourself with [a] community of people who are here to support you and who are here to help you with proactive change.

JM: At the same time, though, when you're on the Common surrounded by your contemporaries, those are the people you trust.

LC: Yes. I think at the start, I couldn't speak to anybody that wasn't friends from home, because nobody really understood and I didn't expect my friends here to understand. But I think at this point so many people understand, or at least they've seen our struggle or everyone's struggle, and I think that will bring us together.

BM: Right. Yeah, like I know for a fact that I'm able to connect with Leslie about certain things that I'm not able to connect with anyone else about because we're so directly impacted by this. But yeah, like Leslie said, it's just important for all of us to come together and unite on this issue that affects every — like, so many more people than just people from Parkland.

JM: Are you excited for the march, or are you wary of the whole thing at the same time?

BM: Oh, I'm so pumped!

JM: You are! You're pumped! You both are?

LC: I'm very excited.

JM: Well, good for you. Thank you both for being involved and thank you for your passion and for talking with us on WGBH radio. Beca Muñoz and Leslie Chiu, organizers of Saturday's March for Our Lives rally. Appreciate your candor and talking with us today.

BM and LC: Thank you so much for having us.