How student activism is at an all-time high
It’s been almost 300 days since 17 people were tragically gunned down while ending their school day at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Since then, there have been 307 shootings in the United States.
321 innocent lives lost in schools, in clubs, even on the streets – not to mention the 1,251 people injured in the incidents.
The recent shooting in Thousand Oaks, California marked the 307th gun-related incident in the United States so far this year. It took place on the 311th day of the year – meaning that the horrors of gun violence are occurring almost daily.
The shooting in Thousand Oaks occurred on November 7, 2018, claiming 13 lives including that of the gunman. This marks the most deadly shooting this year since the Parkland shooting this Valentine’s Day.
Since Parkland, there have been numerous other school shootings: on May 18th, 10 students died at the Santa Fe High School shooting, and on May 25, a student and teacher were injured at an Indiana Middle School.
However, this is not to say that the students have been silenced.
One of the most active, voices to speak up about gun violence is that of the students. This year, thousands of schools across the country held walkouts and protests in order to communicate the importance of making a change.
Parkland survivors, Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, have become household names due to their involvement in what they believe in. They’ve inspired countless students across the country to take part in their own form of activism.
The biggest march, in terms of distance, started in Madison, WI and stretched out for over 50 miles. Students hiked from Madison to Janesville, WI, where Speaker of the House Paul Ryan lives.
Ryan issued a statement where he said that he respects the students who were expressing their views.
As far as standing up for certain beliefs, the Ludlowe community is no exception. On March 14th, hundreds of students walked out of school and flooded Taft Field to listen to their peers voice their opinion about gun control.
Ludlowe senior Hadley Day, 17, was one of the students who organized Ludlowe’s walkout.
The goal of the March 14th walkout was to promote school safety, rather than just gun control – a typically divided issue. “We wanted to send a message of unity, rather than decisiveness,” said Day.
Students around the country are inspiring each other to fight for change. When asked what she would say to Emma Gonzalez, if she could, Day responded, “I would say thank you for pushing forward in what you believe in.”
Day says the best way to make a change, no matter the cause, is to start involvement on your own.
Although the road to change is a long one, some states have enacted certain gun restrictions since the Parkland shooting.
Oregon was one of the first, prohibiting anyone convicted of domestic violence from being able to purchase a firearm.
Other corporations, like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, have raised the age minimum to buy a firearm to 21.
These days, a tremendous amount of power lies within America’s students. Since Parkland, one of the biggest takeaways is that unity among young adults can make a difference.