The country is still responding following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Last week, a 19-year-old former student was charged with bringing a semiautomatic rifle and killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school. Victims of the shooting—and concerned students around the country—have organized a national walkout to protest gun violence.
As Vox shares, the National School Walkout is being planned to take place on March 14. Another walkout, March for Our Lives, is slated for March 24.
We’re marching because it’s not just schools. It’s movie theaters, it’s concerts, it’s nightclubs. This kind of stuff can’t just happen. You know, we are marching for our lives, we’re marching for the 17 lives we lost. And we’re marching for our children’s lives and our children’s children and their children," said Alex Wind, a survivor from the shooting.
With the theme "Enough," the National School Walkout is being organized by the group who shaped the Women's March. “Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school,” said the organizers in a statement. “Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.”
As Vox explains, both the events focus on the government to reform guns. In the aftermath of the shooting, politicians have been divided on how, if at all, to confront gun control. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) argues for more restrictions. "This happens nowhere else, other than the United States of America. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else," he argued.
Meanwhile, President Trump addressed the nation and didn't mention guns or gun reforms. Instead, he focused on mental illness as the core problem for mass shootings.
While politicians argue, students from Parkland are using their platform to make their voices heard. Emma Gonzalez shared her message for Congress with MSNBC: “This is our fight now, because you messed it up so badly that you left it to the kids. Now it’s our job, and you can’t try to take that back from us.”
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