Students at Minnesota State University – Mankato joined thousands of others on high school and college campuses across the nation in a 17-minute walkout to protest gun violence in schools and what many say is lawmaker inaction on the subject.
Madison Hulett said it was a remembrance for the 17 lives lost in Parkland, Florida and to show support for those that survived the shooting but were forever changed by it, and also, “To rally against gun violence and to say that, ‘Enough is enough.’ It is not enough to continue barricading our students in rooms and showing them how to hide away from the windows. We need action.”
There have been calls for changes to gun ownership laws after other school shootings, all the way back to Columbine, but efforts to ban assault weapons and require universal background checks for gun owners failed shortly after the Sandy Hook school shooting five years ago.
Sidhhi Bhakta doesn’t think it will end the same way in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas School shooting. “This time I feel like it’s different,” she explained, “Because everybody has acknowledged that it’s been like that and they’re ready to not back down this time.”
The MSU students are asking people in the community to write their state lawmakers and U.S. Congressional representatives to push for common sense legislation that protects them and other students across the state and nation from further campus gun violence.