The U.S. tends to go through the same pattern after every mass shooting: Democrats express outrage and say we need common sense gun reform. Republicans say "let's not exploit a tragedy for politics." Liberals point out how much money the NRA donates to Republican campaigns, and conservatives express some version of "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Evidence proves that common sense gun restrictions reduce gun deaths. Still, legislators have failed to pass a bill to replace the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, despite efforts over the years from congressional Democrats.
On Wednesday, February 14, a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This came about four months after the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed fifty-eight people. Since congress refuses to act, people have begun to talk of a nationwide student and teacher walkout.
First, the Women's March group called for a 17-minute walkout on March 14:
The idea received a lot of support:
But some thought it wasn't enough:
Which led to this response:
We agree! April 20th (anniversary of Columbine) We are planning a national full day walk out!— National School Walkout (@schoolwalkoutUS) February 16, 2018
On Friday, April 20th we want students to attend school and then promptly WALK-OUT at 10:00 am. Sit outside your schools and peacefully protest. Make some noise. Voice your thoughts. "We are students, we are victims, we are change."— National School Walkout (@schoolwalkoutUS) February 17, 2018
Dan pointed out this staggering statistic:
Many seemed to feel that the younger generation is our only hope:
American students, I’m so sorry my generation has failed you. And I’m so fucking proud of you all. 100% support this student walkout on 4/20 (Columbine anniversary). If there is a protest in solidarity on the same day, I’ll be there too. https://t.co/DSvzolsza5— Marie Lu (@Marie_Lu) February 17, 2018
Others lent their voices in support:
From Jinkx Monsoon of RuPaul's Drag Race fame...
I fully support any teacher or student who decides to walk out on April 20th and refuses to go back to school until sensible gun laws are put into place. Debate all you want, but these kids don’t want to fucking die. They deserve safety. Protest! Demand justice. They work FOR US!— Jinkx Monsoon (@JinkxMonsoon) February 17, 2018
To Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers...