Editorial: Appeal to Join in the Walkout

Jason Fisher, Editorial Columnist

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Usually, high school students are overlooked on the national stage. However, the recent tragedy in Parkland, Fla. has amplified interest in us tenfold. Within days of Nikolas Cruz’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students at that school wrote letters, held and attended protests, and chastised politicians that seem to be refusing to even consider that maybe, just maybe, preventing certain people from buying military-grade guns would make our schools safer.

And now, a nationwide school walkout is planned this Wednesday, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting. Starting at 10 a.m. in every timezone, students and faculty in schools across America will halt education for 17 minutes, one for each life ended in Florida because of politicians putting guns before students.

I will be taking part in this, and I strongly urge you to do so as well, whether NHS is your school or your workplace. At the risk of sounding corny, we must lay down our pencils and Chromebooks to show Washington that it is not okay to deny us a safer learning environment so that gun manufacturers can profit.

Although most school districts have promised to allow students to take part as long as their parents excuse their absence, many students may fear being punished for their actions. In addition, the Wisconsin government’s attacks on organized labor may result in severe penalties for teachers who participate.

For people who fear punishment for taking part in the walkout, a sibling march of the March For Our Lives is planned near Appleton West High School.

In addition, I plan to write an open letter to Rep. Grothman, who represents Neenah in Congress, telling him to stop accepting money from the NRA. The letter will be displayed outside Room 134 in Armstrong, and I encourage you to sign it.

Before I conclude, I want to address those of you who are screaming in your head “YOU’RE WRONG.  YOU, LIBERAL, WHO WANTS TO BAN ALL GUNS!”

Although it is often claimed that gun control advocates want to ban all guns, this is not the case. Most gun control supporters support Americans’ right to own firearms, but American gun laws are riddled with loopholes that must be closed. In fact, terrorist groups have made guides on how to exploit our lax gun laws to obtain weapons for committing attacks.

The proposals to reduce gun violence in this country vary, but regulations such as a ban on assault weapons and banning people with severe mental illnesses and histories of violent behavior from owning guns should significantly reduce mass shootings without infringing on gun rights.

And as for people saying that the Second Amendment prohibits this, let me remind readers what said amendment says.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, I do not think they were thinking of protecting the rights of delusional people to stockpile AK-47s.

Week after week, armed maniacs continue to shoot up American schools, killing and injuring innocent students and teachers. With American gun laws being among the loosest in the world, and our gun homicide rate being by far the highest in the developed world, the data is clearer than ever: A few regulations would easily and dramatically lower the rate of gun violence in the United States. Time and time again, Washington has shown they are not willing to take easy steps to make our schools safer. We have to take those steps ourselves.


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