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Group places crosses at Capitol to remember school shooting victims

SALT LAKE CITY — A student group placed wooden crosses on the south steps of the state Capitol Tuesday to remember the victims of the recent Florida school shooting and to raise funds for a local youth mental health clinic.

"We're not calling on the Legislature to do anything," said Justin Anderson of Students for Liberty of Utah. "What we are trying to do here today is … not only create a memorial for the students that have been lost to school shootings but also to call upon the community to act."

Anderson said he wants the community to see the crosses and perhaps donate to a local mental health clinic, such as Utah Family Therapy or the Utah chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness. He declined to address the current national push for gun control legislation.

"This is going to be an ongoing political issue for years to come," Anderson said. "So what we are wanting to do is to say we can come together and do something today and try to prevent another crisis moving forward."

"We're an international organization. We have over 2,000 leaders across the world, tons in Brazil, Europe, and of course across North America," said Matt Grooms, a student at BYU studying film.

Students for Liberty calls itself the largest libertarian student organization in the world, according to its website, whose mission is "to educate, develop and empower the next generation of leaders of liberty."

The group on Tuesday displayed about 500 crosses representing all the people who have been lost to school shootings in the past 50 years, Grooms said.

"Pretty haunting," he added.