Gun Violence Walkout 2022

June 10, 2022, 11:05 p.m. | By Trini Széll, Gabe Prevots | 2 years ago

This is an ongoing story and will continue to be updated as events unfold.

Today at 1 p.m. a large crowd of Blair students walked out of school to protest gun violence and call for increased restrictions on assault weapons. 

Students began the walkout by leaving the building through the main entrance, and then walked down to the SAC entrance where students gave speeches. After the speeches, students went back towards the main entrance, chanting slogans such as “What do we want? No more guns!” and “No more silence, stop gun violence.”

School administration was informed of the walkout beforehand, and agreed to provide a space for it to take place. School staff were present at the event, and enforced students’ return to the school building once the event ended. 

Freshman Lily Scheckner, who organized the event, promoted the event over instagram through the account “blair4gunreform”. “I was seeing a lot of students who were really upset about the Uvalde shooting and other shootings locally, but [I wasn’t] seeing any students wanting to take action, so I decided to… give a voice to those students who wanted to do something but didn’t know how,” Scheckner said.

Others carried signs to show their support. Freshman Elena Hundertmark, who carried a sign reading “Stop the Silence, Protect Our Students,” sees gun violence as an issue on which students must make their voices heard. “As students, showing up to things like this… and speaking out [is important] because we need the lawmakers to know [how we feel],” Hundertmark said.

The walkout followed a vigil held on June 1 for the victims of the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas that left 21 people dead, including 19 children and two teachers, and in Buffalo, New York that left 10 people dead in a supermarket.

Junior Mackenzie Green attended the walkout because of her desire to break the cycle of collective apathy and forgetfulness regarding mass shootings. “I wanted to show my support, and it’s saddening to see the same thing happen over and over again. [Within] a period of 2-3 weeks, everybody’s like, ‘Change! Change! Change!’ and then…[people] erase all the social media posts, all the infographics are gone, no more protests. Then it happens again, and [the response] is the same,” Green said.

During the walkout, student speakers expressed their frustration with lawmakers’ lack of action to restrict access to weapons often used in mass shootings and school shootings, such as the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

Although the House of Representatives passed legislation by a vote of 223:204 to raise the minimum age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21 and ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, many students believe it is too little, too late, and that lawmakers must do more. 

Junior Genesis Valle, a member of the Latinx Leaders Association, spoke at the walkout. “The recent bills on gun reform passed in the House are not enough. Raising the age for the semi automatic gun is not enough. The term requirements to obtain a gun in the US are not enough to keep us safe, and for our lives to go on, gun violence must come to an end now,” Valle said.

The walkout also precedes the much larger March For Our Lives protest against gun violence taking place tomorrow on June 11. Eleanor Moose, member of Amnesty International’s chapter at Blair, encouraged students to attend the event. 

“We’re marching just like we did in 2018, so show up and demonstrate to our elected officials that we demand and deserve a nation free of gun violence,” Moose said.

Last updated: June 13, 2022, 2:59 p.m.

Tags: gun violence walkout gun safety gun reform

Trini Széll. Hi I'm Trini! I'm a videographer and I've been on SCO since freshman year! More »

Gabe Prevots. Hi, I'm Gabe (he/him), a senior at Montgomery Blair High School and the features editor of SCO. I enjoy biking, walking my dog and correcting minor mistakes in my stories. If you find any, let me know! More »

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