‘Enough is enough’: U.S. students walk out over gun violence

  • FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2018, file photo, Somerville High School students sit on the sidewalk on Highland Avenue during a student walkout at the school in Somerville, Mass. A large-scale, coordinated demonstration is planned for Wednesday, March 14, when organizers have called for a 17-minute school walkout nationwide to protest gun violence. (Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via AP, File) Craig F. Walker

  • FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2017, file photo, Aztec High School students and area residents gather for a candlelight vigil in Aztec, N.M., after a shooting at the high school. While students across the country plan walkouts to protest gun violence, teens at the New Mexico high school still reeling after two classmates were gunned down in December by an armed intruder have organized a "walk-up" to help unify a campus with varied ideas on school safety. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File) Russell Contreras

  • FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2017, file photo, a sign encourages prayer outside an ice cream shop in Aztec, N.M., following a shooting at Aztec High School in which two classmates were killed before the gunman killed himself. While students across the country plan walkouts to protest gun violence, teens at the New Mexico high school still reeling after two classmates were gunned down in December by an armed intruder have organized a "walk-up" to help unify a campus with varied ideas on school safety.(AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File) Russell Contreras

  • A handful of people gathered on the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier, Vt., to protest gun violence as a crowd of sportsmen and gun-rights supporters held an event inside on Tuesday. The Burlington Free Press via AP

  • 7,000 pairs of shoes, one for every child killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook school shooting, were placed on the Capitol lawn on Capitol Hill. AP

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, center, hugs Kyle Kashuv, 16, and Patrick Petty, 17, both from Parkland, Fla., following a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. On the far left is Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Hatch is the lead sponsor of the school safety bill, aiming to replicate the success of a program in his home state of Utah. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Pablo Martinez Monsivais

  • Students, aged 17 & 18, pose for photographs with a banner outside the front of the American School in London, after taking part in a 10am local-time, 17-minute walkout in the school playground, which was attended by approximately 300 students aged 14-18, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. From Maine to Hawaii, students planned to walk out of school Wednesday to protest gun violence in the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged in response to last month's massacre of 17 people at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) Matt Dunham

Associated Press
Published: 3/14/2018 5:10:41 PM

Declaring enough is enough, tens of thousands of young people from Maine to Alaska walked out of school to demand action on gun violence Wednesday in one of the biggest student protests since the Vietnam era.

Braving snow in New England and threats of school discipline in places like Georgia and Ohio, they carried signs with messages such as “Am I next?” railed against the National Rifle Association and bowed their heads in memory of the 17 dead in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“We’re sick of it,” said Maxwell Nardi, a senior at Douglas S. Freeman High School in Henrico, Va., just outside Richmond. “We’re going to keep fighting, and we’re not going to stop until Congress finally makes resolute changes.”

Around the nation, students left class at 10 a.m. local time for at least 17 minutes – one minute for each of the dead in Florida. At some schools, students didn’t go outside but lined the hallways, gathered in gyms and auditoriums or wore orange, the color used by the movement against gun violence.

Over and over, students declared that too many young people have died and that they are tired of going to school every day afraid of getting killed.

“Enough is enough. People are done with being shot,” said Iris Foss-Ober, 18, a senior at Washburn High School in Minneapolis.

Some schools applauded students for taking a stand or at least tolerated the walkouts, while others threatened punishment.

Protesters called for such measures as tighter background checks on gun purchases and a ban on assault weapons like the one used in the Florida bloodbath.

As the demonstrations unfolded, the NRA responded by posting a photo on Twitter of a black rifle emblazoned with an American flag. The caption: “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”

Walkouts interrupted the day at schools from the elementary level through college, and at some that have witnessed their own mass shootings. About 250 students gathered on a soccer field at Colorado’s Columbine High, while students who survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack in 2012 walked out of Newtown High School in Connecticut.

Students at several schools assembled on sports fields and arranged themselves into hearts, peace signs or the word “Enough.” At other schools, students spent the 17 minutes writing letters to lawmakers or registering classmates to vote.

At Eagle Rock High in Los Angeles, teenagers a moment of silence as they gathered around a circle of 17 chairs labeled with names of the Florida victims.

In joining the protests, the students followed the example set by many of the survivors of the Florida shooting, who have become gun-control activists, leading rallies, lobbying legislators and giving TV interviews. Their efforts helped spur passage last week of a Florida law curbing access to assault rifles by young people.

But whether they can make a difference on Capitol Hill remains to be seen. Congress has shown little inclination to defy the powerful NRA and tighten gun laws, and President Donald Trump backed away from his initial support for raising the minimum age for buying an assault rifle to 21.




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy