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Students Walkout Nationwide to Call For Gun Control

by Countable | 2.21.18

UPDATE February 21, 2018: Students around the country are walking out of school in response to an online call to mobilize for gun control.

Hundreds of students in Broward County, FL, the location of the Parkland shooting, are currently in the streets.

And many others, being joined by adults, are marching on the Florida state capitol.

Marches are also happening in other locations, including Iowa City, Iowa.

Students at Montgomery Blair High School, in Silver Spring, MD, a suburb of D.C. walked out this morning and are marching for the Capitol Building.

In Texas, a school superintendent has threatened to suspend students for three days if they walkout of school to protest gun violence.


Below is our original story on student mobilizations from February 19, 2018.

What’s the story?

A new sense of movement seems to be emerging in the long, stagnant national conversation on gun control in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school. It is being fueled largely by the voices of students at the Parkland high school where the shooting occurred, who are demanding change.

Students took to Twitter to speak forcefully against tweets by President Trump and other lawmakers. Senior Emma Gonzalez gave a fiery speech at a gun rights rally in Fort Lauderdale Saturday that went viral.

And on Sunday a group of students including Gonzalez spoke to Meet The Press, stating that they are mobilizing for a national march in Washington, D.C., with sister marches around the country, on March 24th to demand gun control.

In addition to the March 24 marches, there is a nationwide student walkout being organized by youth affiliated with the Women’s March on March 14, and a nationwide student and teacher walkout is being called on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.

President Trump will be holding a "listening session" with some of the student and teachers who survived the Parkland shooting on Wednesday, though whether any of the students who have risen to prominence in recent days will be included is not yet clear. He will also meet with state and local officials about school safety issues on Thursday.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) came under fire from students following the shooting due to his acceptance of $3 million in campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association. Though he has yet to speak up on behalf of federal gun control measures of any kind, he did state support on Sunday for a the Florida legislature considering legislation to enact a "red flag" law.

"Red flag" laws allow authorities to temporarily seize firearms and strip gun rights from an individual who is showing warning signs of violence while their risk is professionally assessed. Only five states -- California, Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon, and Washington currently have red flag laws on the books.

What do you think?

Do you support the efforts of the Parkland students? Do you think the national conversation on gun rights and gun control is changing following this most recent mass shooting? What, if any, changes to current state or federal gun laws would you like to see enacted?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Raw Story via Twitter)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(280)
  • IllWill
    02/19/2018
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    Thank God for these brave students who are calling for more gun control measures which are long overdue! We need brave students like these who will stand up to NRA and the gun manufacturers and demand action! No one should experience what these students went through. Our lawmakers should be on notice! These Parkland High School students as well as other students across the country who watched this tragedy happen will be old enough to vote very soon! Stop taking money from the gun industry and enact common sense gun control laws now!

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  • Wallace
    02/21/2018
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    The government mandates school attendance but will not take all measures to insure the safety of kids. By all means the kids should march.

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  • Patty
    02/19/2018
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    We need to stand with the students from Parkland and all other survivors of gun violence and decide our children’s lives are more important than empty rhetoric. Enact common sense legislation now!

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  • Donna
    02/20/2018
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    The adults in the room should be completely ashamed of themselves! I honor and support these bright, young students for recognizing their government has failed to do anything to protect them their entire lives because taking on the gun lobby is just too hard. Each one of these students has grown up and gone to school in the shadow of Columbine and it has gotten worse, not better. They are no longer depending on the supposed adults in the room - they are becoming the adults in the room. It is completely unfortunate it took yet another mass shooting at yet another school in this country to find ANY ADULT willing to fight for the right to life! I will be participating in the walkout on March 14th at a local high school in support of the courage these students have shown. I have no children in any public school, but I was at work 3 miles from Columbine and live 12 miles from the movie theater in Aurora. Enough is Enough! Life is more precious than money, at least it should be. Sad it takes a group of traumatized high school students to remind us.

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  • John
    02/19/2018
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    Out of the mouths of babes! These heroes have called out the hypocrisy of politicians who send “thoughts and prayers” while pocketing NRA blood money. They are forcing the nation to decide what a life is worth. Seventeen lives. Maybe we should all shut up and listen. Maybe we should all call out BS. Maybe we should call the NRA by what it really is: a terrorist organization. We can support them and be part of the solution or we can be murderers.

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  • Chickie
    02/21/2018
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    We should join these young voices and yell, ‘We call BS!’ I’ve started to doing so when I watch the news or hear/read about a ridiculous statement or Tweet by #45! #enoughisenough #neveragain

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  • Laura
    02/21/2018
    ···

    I am so proud of these students! May we all seek to be as courageous and determined and compassionate as these young people. And may we all join them in this fight to save lives and stop the madness in whatever way we can, large or small. These kids are an example of the better America that is within our grasp. It sickens me to see that already, less than a week since these brave young souls hid trembling in closets or under desks while listening to the rapid fire of an assault rifle and emerged shaken and broken-hearted to find their friends and teachers slaughtered they find themselves under attack from the alt-right hate mongers and their supporters, including the slimy donnie jr. It is reprehensible, shameful, and yes, absolutely deplorable. May Devine Love wrap loving arms around each of these young survivors and shelter and comfort them as they grieve and as they struggle to improve their world, our world. And may each of the rest of us seek to be the hands that hold and the feet that stand strong and mouths that speak truth to power alongside them.

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  • NoHedges
    02/19/2018
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    Do you hear what these students are saying both verbally and non verbally? They are shouting that the single most valuable statistical matrices in determining which candidate the 18-35 vote will go to, is a trust matrix. And since, the homeland and millennial generations combined compromise more than 2/ 3 of the current voting population, you might want to listen up. 🎟 Can THEY trust that you will look out for their best interest, how about the best interests of their mom and dad, their friends, the homeless guy on the street corner? 🎟What is your track record when it comes to misinformation? Is this record independently verified, or simply propaganda? 🎟Are you a doer or a talker? 🎯These are the questions on their minds, and although many of the Homelanders can't vote yet, you better bet they will be willing to shuttle all those who CAN to the polls.

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  • Wendy
    02/19/2018
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    I am so proud of these brave young people. I hope that this is finally what it takes for our legislators to listen and enact sensible gun laws.

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  • David
    02/19/2018
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    I’ve got an idea! Let’s make heroin illegal. That way nobody can use it. FACT: The only people that gun laws actually “control” is LAW ABIDING citizens! Look at the results of “GUN CONTROL” in the cities that have the most restrictions on guns. The thugs have the guns while the law abiding citizens are defenseless and dying in the streets. Your gun control measures will only create more “GUN FREE ZONES.” Which we all know is like an invitation for gun violence since the perpetrator knows there’s minimal resistance and no one will be shooting back! THOSE THAT CAN GIVE UP ESSENTIAL LIBERTY TO GAIN A LITTLE TEMPORARY SAFETY DESERVE NEITHER LIBERTY NOR SAFETY.” - Benjamin Franklin

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  • Maureen
    02/21/2018
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    March on kids! And register and vote in 2018 and 2020!

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  • Robert
    02/20/2018
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    Outlaw Guns?? In 1982, the city of Chicago passed a ban on handgun ownership similar to what was done in Washington, D.C., several years prior. The goal was obvious -- remove the guns, stop the bloodshed. To suggest it failed would be an understatement. The Capital City saw killings rise by a staggering 156 percent, while murders in the Windy City climbed 41 percent. (The national murder rate rose 18 percent during the same time.) As the Chicago Tribune aptly reported, the bans had no "discernible effect on the availability of guns to people with felonious intent. ... [Where] there is a demand for guns, there will always be a supply."

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  • Chickie
    02/20/2018
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    These young folks have said it: ENOUGH. They are brave, strong and intelligent. They have taken this tragedy to bring about change. I have no doubt they will make gun control just that, controlled. These young folks do not have any tolerance for the NRA. They don’t want their representatives to have their vote to be bought. They understand the 2nd amendment, the right to bare arms. Yet it doesn’t mean you need an automatic weapon. Those with a mental illness should not be permitted to buy guns. In tweaking a line from When Harry Met Sally, I’ll have what they’re having! #enoughisenough

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    02/19/2018
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    This is the movement that will change America, if anything can. You will all be eligible to vote soon and you may now truly understand the importance of democracy and having a voice. Young teenagers and young adults control the American economy and you can now control your democratic freedoms, if you put as much effort into understanding politics and how Government can help or deter you and how your rights and safety can be taken away. I would love to join you, but this is your movement and your voice. You may want to use the economics to assist in making your voice heard. As a group, you can stop supporting businesses and apps that do not support your views. The power is now in your hands. Show them through a united front, all skin colors, all races, all genders, all sexual identities, all wealth classes ( poor to wealthy) stand together strong and show the world that we can do better. Others will follow your lead and we will step in when it is time, to support you and your teachers and your communities.

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  • JTJ
    02/20/2018
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    Repeating ignorant liberal rhetoric does not make these students brave. It makes them dumb sheep touted by the media, heading to another slaughter. Smart students will bravely confront their school districts. They will demand for armed security, and the right for willing teachers to carry.

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  • Gerald
    02/20/2018
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    I have finally had enough of the constant rant and teacher/education bashing I hear from some of the most uninformed members of this site. I served my country and am a disabled vet. Further, I served my country and fellow humans by teaching in the public education system for 30 years. For most of that time I have been disrespected for my choice of being a public servant. I have 3 bachelors degrees and 2 masters degrees and have a total of 330 college credits: Half of which are graduate credits. All paid for out of my own pocket. I then spent 30 years as an underpaid public education teacher. After 30 years I was making a third of what my father did as an engineer at the end of his career; and he, while a brilliant engineer, never finished his degree. I don’t take away from what he did or made but where would he have been without the teachers in his life. None of the professions would exist without the educational system we have and I am tired of the constant abuse of one of the most dedicated public servant professions in our modern world. I am also tired of the constant accusation of liberal brainwashing in education. Most liberals are highly educated and because we have been taught to be good critical thinkers we have become really good at asking the tough questions most uneducated citizens fail to ask. Also as a teacher I always played the devil's advocate to challenge my students thinking and never told them my personal opinions because I wanted them to reach their own conclusions, even when different than my own. This has also often been to my disappointment as I have watched many of them grow up to be unthinking hard core conservatives. But then I only had them 5 days a week for 9 months over 4 years, our culture of bias had them for much longer. To the students that are willing to stand up for what they believe, who wish to make a change in our society for the better, who are willing to stand against the prevailing “wisdom” to make a better world, you have my undying support and gratitude. To my English teaching colleagues I apologize for any grammatical errors you were unable to overlook without cringing. :-)

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  • John.Nutt
    02/20/2018
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    To all those on the left please read all of this before you criticize me. This isn’t a gun issue. Guns have been around in America in the US since the settlers came over and school shootings have only happened in the past 20 years. In the last 50 years the average gun per household has gone down but mass shootings have gone up. 98% or mass shootings happen in gun free zones. Banning guns doesn’t work. Fine ban the AR-15. They guy would have gotten a shotgun or pistol. Fine then ban those. He was looking up videos on how to make a bomb. If guns were banned he would have either gotten an illegal gun or made a bomb or used his car. Murder is illegal and bombs are illegal but he was still planning on using a bomb and he killed people. That proves that laws wouldn’t prevent this. This isn’t even necessarily a mental health issue. It’s a society issue. With the media, video games, social media. It comes down to people being left out and alone. Those are the people who want attention from their peers and are having trouble finding it. More and more people are being left out today because kids aren’t kids anymore. The younger you can become and adult the cooler you are. That leaves the kids who just want to be kids being left out. Then they fall behind socially and the only thing they look for is attention. They get attention through a few ways: body building, wealth, looks, and even the extreme case of killing people. I should know because I was a kid that was left out and lagged behind my peers due to strict parents who didn’t let me see movies or play the games my peers did. So I was left out. Instead of resorting to violence (as I have seen some do) I went the economic rout and started my own company at age 17 and now I don’t care about attention anymore because I took a loot from the outside and saw how stupid all this social stuff was and just focused on me and being happy. Best decision I ever made. Deleted my social media and only hung out with a few close friends who actually liked me for me. It’s not a mental health or a gun issue. It’s a being left out issue. You can see this because then they interviewed the students you would often hear “I would try to avoid him” “he was always weird” “I never talked to him” the shooter had no friends and was avoided. That probably started at a young age and once you fall behind it gets harder and harder to catch up. He wanted to kill people for attention and he was going to do it anyway possible. The only thing that can prevent that at that point is professionally trained armed guards. Very school already has security guards so there isn’t a funding issue. The next step is to arm them or follow Israel’s rules and have some teachers be trained and armed. This both deters shooters and takes them down faster than calling the cops would. The reason you call the police is because they have guns and are trained. The solution to this is to have armed guards and to not leave kids out socially.

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  • Beth
    02/21/2018
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    I’m impressed with these kids and their idea. What leadership! Take the politicians funded by the NRA out of office. March on! I am with you.

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  • Andrea
    02/21/2018
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    I support the students %100. This country should ban assault weapons except for at a controlled shooting practice place. We need gun control and affordable mental health care. Also this country needs more social services to help people when they are falling through the cracks like this young man, Cruz.

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  • Brian
    02/20/2018
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    I urge my reps, including congresswoman Duckworth, who has taken money from the NRA, albeit a small amount, to take these kids seriously. I urge you to get off your hands and do something now. I urge you to not kowtow to corporate donors who would prefer you not make waves. I urge you to not only acknowledge these kids but get behind them. Their futures and the futures of your children and grandchildren are contingent on you aggressively and relentlessly pushing for gun control. It is on you to pressure our neighbors from Indiana and their reps to shore up their laws so criminals from Illinois can no longer cross the border and flood our cities and state with the weapons being used to terrorize the people you represent. Step up and be seen and heard on this issue. This is not the complicated issue the NRA likes to paint it to be. Just ban the guns. I believe that much like when the world protested to smoking bans but then embraced them so too will a ban on assault weapons and stringent background checks and licensing laws to minimize or more ideally eliminating this violence be embraced by the masses.

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