NATICK – In a middle school auditorium Saturday, state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, had a message for those looking to combat gun violence: take a page out of the National Rifle Association handbook.

“The reason the NRA has been successful in this country … is the NRA voters don’t care about other issues,” Linsky said. “You have to be tough. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

Federal, state and local officials spent a couple of hours at a student-organized town hall meeting focused on gun safety. The group explained pending legislation, praised student leaders in the March for Our Lives movement, answered questions, and offered next steps.

“This is what democracy looks like,” said U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Melrose, “and I’m very privileged to be here.”

Legislators blamed gun lobbyists for the inertia on federal legislation, and told students to be just as persistent.

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“In the history of the United States, (the youth) is who makes a difference,” Clark said. “When people say ‘they’ll get tired,’ ‘they’ll go away’ …. You’re going to prove them wrong.”

The event, held at Kennedy Middle School in Natick, was organized by 18-year-old Hopkinton High School student Devon Rutter, as well as the groups Stop Handgun Violence and March for Our Lives Boston.

“Just having one march doesn’t make…