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D.C. walkout inspires younger generation to wage fight for gun control

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D.C. walkout inspires younger generation to wage fight for gun control

photos by Mimi Lemar

photos by Mimi Lemar

photos by Mimi Lemar

Mimi Lemar, Reporter

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The school walkout for gun violence prevention in Washington, D.C. was an incredible and unforgettable experience. Every moment made me feel empowered and ready to make a change.

The walkout was organized by Moco4Change, a student-led group fighting for change nationally and in our community. Members of the organization from public schools all over the Washington region helped organize this meaningful experience. Moco4Change member senior Sophie Miller estimated that there were about 3,500 people at the walkout, the majority of who were high school students.

We started at the White House around 10:00 am. Gathered in a clump in front of the landmark, we waited until all the students arrived, and once all the schools arrived, we held 17 minutes of silence. During those 17 minutes, we sat down, and it was an incredibly powerful silence.

Those 17 were for the 17 lives gunned down in the Parkland shooting, but were also for so much more. Those 17 minutes were for everyone: all the teens and all the kids who were survivors or victims of gun violence.

After those 17 minutes, we continued chanting things like, “This is what Democracy looks like!”, and “What do we want? Gun Control! When do we want it? Now!” Around 11:00 am, we got up and walked to the Capitol Building.

We were watched by media and bystanders as we walked, which further empowered us; we yelled even louder and held our signs higher. When we arrived at Capitol Hill, students started running to get a better view at the front.

We were told by organizers to move backwards and sit down so that the sound could travel back. The speaker line up was incredible and an experience you can’t get anywhere else. The speakers were student activists, survivors of gun violence, people who have lost family and friends to gun violence and congressmen and politicians devoted to gun violence prevention.

There are so many things I learned from the experience, meeting new people and hearing from the speakers, but my main takeaway is this: stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone.

This experience is something I will always remember. As someone who is extremely passionate about gun violence prevention, I took a lot from this experience about how to further educate myself and others.

I also learned that young people are the future, which was shown through the immense display of young people who were able to miss school in order to support this prevalent issue.

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