I Helped Organize a March for Our Lives Walkout

Almost one year ago, there was a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida. Many students from the school stood up and spoke out against gun violence and mass shootings, starting the movement known as The March for Our Lives.

School walkouts were planned across the world, so a group of my friends decided to have a walkout of our own at our high school. Our principal and our teachers were supportive of the idea after some conversations, so they didn’t plan on punishing us for walking out of class. In the days leading up to the walkout, on March 14th, 2018, we passed orange fliers out - the color of the gun violence awareness movement - to anyone who would take them.

Credit: Connor Nelson

 

On the day of the walkout, it was reported that around 500-600 of our school’s students walked out with us. The walkout lasted 17 minutes, one minute for each person who died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. Our courtyard was full of students, some holding homemade signs and some chanting. We ran out of voter registration forms and orange ribbons, and a helicopter flew above our school to see the walkout.

Since then, a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas students published their own book, Glimmer of Hope. Pictures and videos of the shooting happening have been on the Internet for almost a year now, showing people what actually happens in school shootings. The idea “out of sight, out of mind” allows people to not fully understand the realities of these shootings. This is what makes people so capable of sticking to their traditional beliefs about guns.

Via https://www.amazon.com/Glimmer-Hope-Tragedy-Sparked-Movement/dp/1984836099

 

The gun reform movement doesn’t want to ban all guns from existence. The goal is to make schools and other normal places - like churches, hospitals, and movie theaters - safer from assault rifles that make it easy to kill mass amounts of people in a short amount of time.

In the last year, Several large companies renounced their support for the NRA (National Rifle Association). Bump stocks - gun accessories that increase the power of the gun it is attached to - have been banned in the U.S.

However, this doesn’t mean everything is solved. We are a long way away from what is ideal. Just last week, a student at UCF (University of Central Florida) was caught with a gun. It’s terrifying to imagine what could have happened, not even one year after the shooting in another Florida city. We should not feel worried to go to school, for fear that someone can easily buy a deadly gun and bring it onto a school campus.

We will always remember those who died last February: Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque Anguiano, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, and Peter Wang.

Donate to victims of gun violence here: http://gvsfoundation.org/donate/.

 

Pictured in the cover picture: Amanda Fugleberg