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High School Students Stage National Walk-Out to Protest Gun Laws
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Photo courtesy of NPR.

Summary: On March 14, thousands of students across the country walked out of their high schools to peacefully protest gun laws in the United States. 

One month after the fatal Parkland, Florida school shooting, thousands of students around the country walked out of school to protest American gun laws.

  
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“Remember why we are walking out,” Parkland shooting survivor Lauren Hogg stated on Twitter today. “We are walking out for my friends that passed, all children that have been taken because of gun violence. We are walking out for the empty desks in my classes, and the unsaid goodbyes. This epidemic of school shootings must stop.”

According to NPR, more than 3,130 school walkouts were scheduled nationwide, and protestors also gathered outside of the White House to shout, “Hey hey, ho ho! The NRA has got to go!”

The NRA, the National Gun Association, has been a big foe for the survivors of the Parkland shooting. These activists, including David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, argue that the NRA’s deep pockets have bought politicians, who have not passed strict gun restriction laws, despite the high number of shootings in the United States.

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For years, it appeared that the country’s lawmakers were not going to pass stricter gun laws, but the tide appeared to turn after February 14. On Valentine’s Day, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz entered his former high school with an assault rifle, and he shot and killed 17 students and staff.

Survivors of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School called for a national protest on March 14. They asked that at 10 a.m., people walk-out of their schools for 17 minutes to remember the 17 lives lost in Parkland.



Leading up to the walkout, the Parkland activists have been vocal on television, at rallies, and online about wanting tougher gun control; and their efforts have already appeared to be working. Just weeks after the Parkland shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart announced that they were changing their gun selling policies, including raising the minimum purchasing age from 18 to 21.

In Florida, the minimum purchasing age was also raised recently, and earlier this month, Congress approved a bipartisan bill intended to increase school safety.

Some colleges have responded to the growing number of young activists, and they stated that they will not penalize applicants who were arrested for peaceful protesting.

NPR stated that the ACLU is working to educate young people about their rights.

“But what they can’t do is discipline you more harshly because of the political nature of or the message behind your action,” the ACLU stated. “The exact punishment you could face will vary by your state, school district, and school. Find out more by reading the policies of your school and school district.”

What do you think of today’s protest? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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