Gun Violence Protest Movement Sweeps Nation

Arnav Srivastava ‘19
EE Senior Opinions Editor

March 14th, 2018, will go down in history as a lot more than just celebrating Pi Day. In fact, a matter even more irrational was being addressed: the unfortunate increase in gun violence plaguing schools and neighborhoods across the nation.

Facilitated by youth protest organization EMPOWER, the idea quickly caught along for schools across the country to walk out of class for 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from a school shooting. Ultimately, Trumbull High School, alongside many other schools, took part in this symbolic movement to demonstrate their support against these horrific tragedies and honor the Parkland victims.

However, it is the purpose of the movement which ensues conflict, as many different schools protested for different agendas and pushed for various degrees of change. Universally, all schools protested to have a nation with no school shootings: a place where everyone is part of a safer and transitively happier community, a place with less hatred and greater help for those in need, and a place where innocent people do not unfairly suffer at the hands of others.

From this foundation, schools began to differ in their stances. Many, such as THS, remained at this base-line nonpartisan stance on gun violence, as an argument merely advocating for peace while leaving the means of this ambition open-ended is unlikely to ensue conflict. Meanwhile, other schools took a more radical stance on protest, advocating for legislation banning assault weapons, requiring universal background checks for gun-holders, and confiscating guns from potentially violent gun users. Of course, the later position holds greater chance for dispute, as schools should not be endorsing political agendas.
Nevertheless, the movement as a whole (regardless of stance), spurred a new faction demanding change. Across the globe, people plan on marching, protesting, and rallying against gun violence well into April, all supporting varying degrees of radical change. However, with all the various approaches to push for change, the real question boils down the conflict down to: “which approach is the most effective approach for change?”.

Nonpartisan protests are more successful at demonstrating support against gun violence as their stance is more moderated, yet many complain the stance is too passive. Meanwhile, more radical protests broadly support specific legislation and actions to end gun violence, but have comparatively less support as many approaches to prevent gun violence are deemed as an infringement of people’s rights by others.

At the end of the day, it is clear there is no one clear-cut answer as to how to bring about change. People are driven to make their world a safer place, yet a broad pool of ideas on how to establish this ideal vision leads to varied approaches on how to have safer schools from person to person, ultimately hindering progress from a unanimous stance on inhibiting gun violence all together. Nevertheless, as history has shown us time and time again, the wide exchange of ideas which stimulate conflict ultimately work to find a compromise which does lead to change. Therefore, a safer world is established by taking a stance, and using our voices: as citizens of our community, we must individually conduct thorough research, and add to the global pool of ideas to stimulate change. Although it is logical that a public establishment hosting individuals with various views does not endorse specific political action to solve gun violence, we all need to make educated decisions as individuals to decide the best course of action to put an end once and for all on gun violence, and use our valuable voice to take steps towards being part of a safer and better world.

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