In yet another demonstration that took place in the United States where students demand stricter gun control laws, thousands of students walked out of classes across the country again. This time their demonstration was held on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre. Their show of unity was intended to coerce politicians to enact tighter gun control laws. More than 2600 schools and institutions across the United States had students leave classes at 10:00 a.m. in each time zone. This was the second organized walk out that has taken place since the events earlier this year in Parkland, Florida. Ever since Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a national student movement to try and demand stricter gun control laws has taken on a life of its own.
Many of the demonstrators were dressed for the occasion as they wore the color orange. A color that has come to represent the movement against gun violence. A time period of 13 seconds was set aside to honor those who lost their lives that day in Colorado nineteen years ago. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/students-walk-out-of-class-to-demand-tighter-us-gun-laws/ar-AAw6Mly?ocid=spartanntp In his article “Students walk out of class to demand tighter U.S. gun laws” writer Keith Coffman quoted 14 year old student Ayanna Rhodes as saying, “I’m trying to get an education, but I still have a small fear that someone will come in with a gun. It’s an issue that’s been in this country for a long time.” She is a student at Washington International School where she and hundreds of students gathered in front of the nations capitol.
Before the horrific incident that took place my senior year came to an end at Columbine High School twelve students and a teacher had been killed. The two gun men would later turn their fire arms on themselves and take their own lives. Ever since then what once was a rare event has become common place in the United States.
Even before the protest for stricter gun control laws could begin another student was wounded in another school shooting in Florida. This most recent incident of gun related violence at school took place just 225 miles away from Parkland where 17 students lost their lives just two months ago. That incident in Parkland, Florida holds a record that no one would want to be a part of as the deadliest school shooting in US history.
Despite the nation wide sick to the stomach feeling that most American’s experience when our thoughts turn to school shootings, there is still a high sensitivity that surrounds the topic of gun control in Colorado. The President of the National Association for Gun Rights based out of Colorado explained that the gun control movement seeks to have the Government take away our second amendment rights. He was quoted as saying, ” The main objective of these students is to ban firearms completely, and confiscate the firearms of law-abiding Americans. We will oppose them every step.”
Many of the students who walked out in places such as New York, Detroit, and Washington were carrying placards that “No more gun violence” and “I should be worried about grades, not guns.” while their brothers and sisters of the cause sat in front of the white house listening to a list of names of gun violence victims being read out loud. These demonstrations had one purpose. They are all intended to pressure our politicians to place more restrictions on gun sales across the nation. After the 13 seconds of silence that were observed for those who were killed in the Columbine massacre the demonstrations became a free for all as each student was allowed to decide how they would protest. Organizers of the protests suggested marches to the offices of local law makers, speeches to try and rile up the spirit of the day, and registering to vote for this Novembers mid term elections.
The night before the national walk out, in Colorado gun control activists gathered near Columbine High School. They would be joined by 17 year old Carlos Rodriguez, a junior who survived the shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He felt a strong sense of brotherhood and support among the other protestors. Keith Coffman quoted him as saying Carlos Rodriguez as saying, “That’s the only thing that’s keeping us Douglas students alive right now: the distraction of fighting for our rights and advocating for our lives. It’s the one thing keeping us hopeful, it’s the one thing keeping us from not being able to sleep at night.”
Contrary to other schools across the nation there was no walk out held at Columbine High School. The only reason that no one walked out at Columbine is because every since April 20, 1999 this day has never been a school day for the students who attend school at that location. Instead of participating in a national walk out the students who attend this institution of learning were encouraged to participate in community services.
This latest rally took place just a little over a month after students from over 3,000 schools across the nation participated in the #ENOUGH National School Walkout demanding that law makers create stricter gun control laws. It also follows the demonstration that just took place a couple weeks ago. “March For Our Lives” rallies were held across the nation on March 24. These were some of the biggest demonstrations that had been seen in US history since the days of the Vietnam War and the civil rights protests. At the time of this writing it is not yet known if todays events are able to live up to its predecessors.