03/10/2018 / By Isabelle Z.
On Wednesday, March 14, a national school walkout is being organized by the people behind the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. On this occasion, they’ll be capitalizing on the recent school shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida, in the hopes that they can funnel people’s understandably emotional reactions to the tragedy into a push for anti-gun legislation.
They are asking not only students, but also their teachers, administrators, parents and other “allies,” to walk out of school at 10:00 am in their local time zone. The walkout will last 17 minutes, which equates to one minute for each person killed in the massacre. The organizers suggest either reading out the names of the deceased students or those of local people who have been killed by guns.
It’s worth noting that the walkout falls right in the middle of Spring Break in many parts of the country, so don’t be surprised to see inflated numbers of “success.” It’s interesting that they would choose a day when so many people don’t have school to organize a school walkout – unless that was part of their plan all along. The organizers say the date was chosen because it’s the one-month anniversary of the school shooting, but other dates could have been chosen that also have some sort of significance or connection to the tragedy. Are they expecting a low turnout and looking to have a convenient explanation ready for it?
Their website “helpfully” offers up a list of demands that should be made at the walkout. Instead of thinking for yourself, they want you to blindly adhere to their agenda and help promote it for them. In a list that they claim was written by teenagers, they outline which policies they support and which ones they oppose.
For example, they want participants to demand the banning of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks on all gun sales, a gun violence restraining order that would see people’s guns confiscated merely because someone else expressed concerns about them, and other measures.
At the same time, they want participants to voice opposition to the concealed carry reciprocity law that would see states honoring concealed carry laws of other states. What is most perplexing, however, is their opposition to “any legislation that would aim to fortify our schools with more guns” – even though armed guards and other armed staff could have easily spared countless deaths in many recent school shootings.
Many young people may join the walkout simply because want to show that they condemn the violence without realizing the aim here is to support legislation that could ultimately work against them in the long run. After all, criminals will always find ways to get guns, and how will law-abiding citizens be able to protect themselves if they are banned? Never mind the fact that school violence will exist even if gun legislation is put in place. For example, a mentally ill student could drive a car into a crowd of students; should we ban cars if that happens?
This narrow-minded focus on guns in school shootings might be convenient for certain political causes, but sadly, it keeps the focus away from one of the biggest factors behind much of this violence: Mental illness. The teen years are fraught with emotions and hormones under the best of circumstances, and parents need to pay close attention to their children. They need to seek help if they show signs of being disturbed – and not by heading to the family doctor to ask for an antidepressant prescription.
The Parkland school shooter, like many mass shooters in recent years, was taking psychiatric medications. These drugs disconnect people’s brains from the real world around them, making their own actions feel unreal to them. Ignoring this common thread means we are likely to see even more incidents of mass violence. Of course, the anti-gun lobby will be right there ready to blame it all on guns once again.
Sources for this article include: