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Protests demanding gun control span across nation

Lauren West, Co-Editor

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Since the Valentines day school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a student-led movement to curb gun violence has spread around the world.

On March 14, over 100 SHS students joined the national walkout at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes to remember the 17 people who were killed

“I walked out because gun violence needs to stop, and we need to be the generation that changes things,” said senior Mackenzie Moylan.

2018 has already seen 18 school shootings, so some students fear being the next one.

“I walked out because kids shouldn’t be afraid of dying at school, and if we need to leave school to prove that to people, then we need to be the generation to prove that,” explained senior Julia Hartner.

Along with the school walkout, the student of MSDHS organized a nationwide protest on March 24, called March For Our Lives. Thousands of people gathered around the world to make a stand and support the student-led protest.  Hundreds of people gathered on the steps of the state capitol building in protest of gun violence, one of 800+ rallies held in conjunction with the D.C. event.

“I attended the protest because change is necessary. I can’t just sit back and let others do the work. My voice matters too, and I have to make it be heard,” said senior Emily Swanson.

During the protest, multiple speakers including seniors from Topeka High School, a senior from Emporia High School, a political science major from Washburn University, the state president of Kansas Young Democrats, an Army veteran, a former U.S. attorney and a member of the Shawnee Mission board of education, spoke to the crowd.  In 2018, there have been over 3,181 gun-related deaths according to the Gun Violence Archive. In the front lines of the protest were high school students from around Kansas.

The national student leaders are encouraging students to get involved in a variety of ways.  At the events, participants could register to vote. The students of MSDHS have vowed that more events are coming to keep the issue of school safety alive.

“The protest empowered me to encourage more young people to get involved in political activism and to vote,” said Swanson.

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Protests demanding gun control span across nation