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UNC Students Gather to Honor Parkland Victims

On Wednesday, March 21 at 11:30 AM, I left class in the middle of a guest lecturer’s presentation. No, it wasn’t because I had anything against the lecturer or because I wanted to be rude. I was participating in a walk out to honor the 17 victims of last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) in Parkland, Florida, as well as to protest Congress’s refusal to pass sensible gun control legislation.

About 100 UNC students gathered in Polk Place in the snow and the freezing cold for 18 moments of silence—one for each of the victims of the Parkland shooting and one for all the other victims of gun violence.  Then, with frozen toes, we went on about our day.

Walking out of class for 18 minutes may not seem like much—and it isn’t, in the grand scheme of things—but the hope is that showing nation-wide, cross-generational support for gun control will result in our country’s leaders seeing how much this topic matters to the people they have been elected to represent.

According to a national poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, 75 percent of American voters think Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence, 97 percent support universal background checks, and 66 percent support stricter gun control laws.

If you’re interested in getting involved and demanding action, consider attending the UNC Rally for Our Lives next Thursday, March 29. The event will host speakers, including MSD students, and the Mayor of Chapel Hill will be in attendance.

School shootings are a terrible phenomenon that no one should have to experience. It makes me hopeful to see so many brave, strong students coming together to demand action, though.

High school and college students are the future of this country, and we’re proving that we’re willing to fight for change.

Tessa Palmer

Chapel Hill

Tessa is a senior English major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She enjoys crocheting, watching Netflix, and petting fluffy animals.
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