A Walkout Against Gun Violence

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BY PATRICK MOORE

Staff Reporter

The second National School Walkout was held outside the Chapel on Thursday to remember the victims of gun violence. The event was meant to shed light on the school shootings that have occurred and to challenge the issue of gun control.

The walkout was organized last year after the Parkland Shooting, when a student killed 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School. The walkout was in remembrance of the Sandy Hook shooting as well.

The Sandy Hook shooting occurred in 2012 when a gun man opened fire in the Sandy Hook elementary school, taking 26 lives. The tragedy hit close to home for many Connecticut residents at Sacred Heart, as the shooting occurred in nearby Newtown.

The event was held at 10am and it lasted 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 victims. Religious Studies Professor, Brian Stiltner, was the main speaker.

He talked about the importance of gun safety and how it is both a local and national issue. “What is most important to us is to pay attention and read the news,” said Stiltner.

Towards the end of the walk out a moment of silence was held to honor the victims of both shootings. After the moment of silence, names of the victims were read off.

Since the shooting, Connecticut has passed stricter gun laws to improve safety and increased the police presence in schools and campuses across the state. Specifically, on Sacred Heart’s campus you will often see Fairfield Police, as well as the universities Public Safety.

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled that gun manufacturing companies can be held liable by lawsuits from victim’s families. In the past, Congress typically protected gun manufacturers from lawsuits.

A petition was passed around for Ethan’s law. This petition is an act for stricter gun laws and many people in attendance signed it.

Ethan’s Law was created because many gun owners were not required to have safe storage for their firearms. This resulted in many children being unintentionally shot and even killed. This law could potentially help improve gun safety and has already passed in some other states.

“I think the school walk out is a good idea for students to show their concern for their own safety in schools since they do not yet have the opportunity to vote, and it took a lot of courage to walk out especially since schools threatened to give out detention or suspend the students that participated in it.“ said Junior, Christine Marra.

“I think the walkout is an appropriate way to exercise freedom of speech under protest in a professional and polite manner,” said Junior, Taylor Mewhiney. “The walkout was absolutely necessary and sheds light on an urgent topic that tends to be neglected.”

“I believe in the second amendment, but I also believe that people who own fire arms need to put them in a safe place that is locked up and unable to be accessible by the mentally unstable and children,” said Marra.

“The policy needs to be stricter, mass amounts of Americans have weapons they don’t need. In result of this it allows for others to have access to their firearms which causes far more tragedy than needed. There should be stricter qualifications in order to purchase a firearm,” said Mewhiney.

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