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Support gun control and student protests

By The Brandeis Hoot

Section: Editorials

March 2, 2018

At 10 a.m. on March 14, Brandeis students will walk out of classes for 17 minutes in solidarity with the 17 students and faculty members killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and in support of the #NeverAgain movement. In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Parkland, FL, the many mass shootings that preceded it and the incomprehensible lack of policy change surrounding access to guns, The Brandeis Hoot’s Editorial Board feels it is imperative students advocate for their safety and national change by attending this event. In addition, students can go to Boston or Washington D.C. for the March for Our Lives on March 24 and protest against political leaders who continue to extend nothing but “thoughts and prayers” to victims of mass shootings while accept donations from the National Rifle Association and holding back gun control legislation.

We, like 68 percent of the American electorate, support expanded gun control measures, such as background checks, restrictions on purchases of “bump stocks” and raising the minimum age for gun buyers. These changes should have happened years ago and should not inspire controversy. A stronger background check system that is also necessary, and 97 percent of Americans believe this, according to Quinnipiac University.

This should not be a partisan issue. In 2018 alone, there have been 24 gunshot victims in school shootings. Many of the victims of the Parkland shooting were only a few years younger than us and were murdered in classrooms and hallways much like the ones we see everyday.

We commend the Brandeis administration for their commitment to supporting the rights of students to peacefully protest when their lives are in danger and we commend the student organizers of walkouts and protests both at Brandeis and in schools across the country for giving young people a voice. The active shooter drill on March 21, organized before the most recent mass shooting, shows the university is proactively responding to the persistent threat of guns that faces our society. These drills have become common practice at universities around the country, and while we appreciate Brandeis’ efforts, we hate that this has become so necessary.

As students, we must recognize that the only way to make change on this issue is to continue to pressure our elected officials to listen to their constituents. We must write letters to our representatives, not just at the federal level but at the state level as well, and remind them that the voices of Americans, gun-owning and not, support gun control measures. We must engage in peaceful protests and marches to show our support for student safety. We must take this opportunity to use our voices and demand reform.

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