Arrowhead High School Students Interested in March For Our Lives

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Arrowhead High School Students Plan To Participate In School Walk Out

Amanda Stahl, Reporter

According to CNN,  Parkland Florida city police officials have declared on February 14th, 2018 a former student of Stoneman Douglas High School, Nikolas Cruz unleashed gunfire within the school killing 17 students and staff while harming 14 others. In the days since the shooting, Stoneman Douglas students and gun control activists have demanded action within government regarding gun control.

Alex Wind, one of the survivors of the Florida shooting, spoke out about the need for gun control hoping Congress would listen. He said, “We’re marching because it’s not just schools. It’s movie theaters, it’s concerts, it’s nightclubs. This kind of stuff can’t just happen. You know, we are marching for our lives, we’re marching for the 17 lives we lost. And we’re marching for our children’s lives and our children’s children and their children.”

With activists wanting to change gun regulations, so far these tensions have culminated in two planned events that are spreading nationwide: the National School Walkout on March 14 and the March for Our Lives on March 24. The National School Walkout, planned by Women’s March organizers, will be on March 14 at 10 am in each time zone. It calls for students, faculty, parents, and others to walk out of school for 17 minutes — one minute for each person who was killed in the Florida school shooting. The March for Our Lives is scheduled for March 24, in which students and activists plan to march to Washington, DC, and other US cities.

Many Arrowhead students whether supporting the movement or not, have kept up with recent events and have spoke out about their stance on gun control and their personal opinions regarding it.

Skyler Phillips, a senior at Arrowhead High School, said, “The 2nd Amendment needs to be completely abolished or changed at the bare minimum. When the Constitution was written, guns were meant to protect the citizens from British and potentially Native American invaders. Guns were single shot, inaccurate, and took more than a minute to reload. Guns today with bump stocks can fire far more than 30 shots in less than a minute. The 2nd Amendment was created before we had house alarms, police officers, and was created during a post war era. There is no need for a random 18 year old to be able to possess an AR-15, a semi automatic weapon solely created for war and to kill.  I can understand if people want hunting rifles, or a small handgun because I know realistically we will always have the 2nd amendment, but there is no reason for anything more than that.  You don’t need a machine gun to kill a deer.”

Jeffrey Mason, an AHS junior, says, “The government should pay for security systems and armed officers for schools to increase protection. Banning guns will never be the solution and it will never be considered by the government. Sacrificing Freedom for Security is our only option at this point. Stricter background checks and better protection in school are the most effective solutions.”

Sydney Flynn, an AHS senior says, “ I think people often think that by when I say control I mean ban all guns, but that’s not true. I only believe in getting rid of automatic weapons because there is no other use for it other than to kill. I also believe in rigorous background checks and making gun owners and potential buyers to pass a gun safety class and renew their background checks and classes about every 6 months to a year. I don’t understand why someone would be opposed to my suggestions. If you’re a law abiding citizen and check out on all areas including mental health, then you have no reason to worry about your guns being taken away. ”

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the Waukesha, Greendale, and Oak Creek districts have claimed to suspend students if they take place in any of the marches, the Arrowhead School District however has not said anything regarding students potential actions to the upcoming event. Arrowhead students can find information about the upcoming march on March 14th at the Women’s March website where students are able to search up their school district and sign their petition giving support for the march. Students are able to find information and petition for March 24th’s march at March With Us website.

Phillips says, “I will be participating in Arrowhead’s walk out because yes it seems like it won’t do anything, but if the African Americans in Alabama never practiced Civil Disobedience during the Bus Boycott, they never would’ve desegregated buses. Most students I feel don’t think a school shooting can happen to them, but Parkland was voted Florida’s safest city in 2016, and they are now on the top 5 list of largest mass school shootings in history. By walking out it’ll at least bring attention to the country that us students are the future and we are more powerful and driven then the older generations think.”

Emily Peters, a senior at Arrowhead High School plans on participating in the upcoming march as well saying,  “I will be participating in the March For Our Lives. I think it’s important that we all come together now more than ever. Whatever political ideology you are, we can all agree these shootings need to stop. I think the most important thing right now is to protect our schools. I personally don’t think there is going to be a set in stone solution that will solve all our problems, but just talking about the importance of change is a huge step forward. We need to come together as a country and find a secure way to protect students.”

Flynn says, “I haven’t yet decided if I will be participating in the walk out quite yet. I would really like to because I support the cause, although I am not sure if my parents will allow me to skip school. I would, however, like to be part of the movement that I believe will change the way people view gun control forever.”

Debates following these tragic events in the U.S. have become increasingly polarized, with some focused on gun control and others focused on mental health. Many people question if the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is an appropriate time to discuss mental health. While many students in Arrowhead are in support for the upcoming march and petition for stricter gun laws, there are many students who oppose this issue and do not believe that guns are the issue of mass shootings that have gone on for years, but rather mental health is the main factor.

Mason says, “Gun control, in my opinion, can generally only be used as a preventative measure. Gun control can prevent who gains access, but gun control should not be used as a method of banning or taking away firearms. Certain types of firearms are rightfully illegal, such as automatic weapons, however semi-automatic firearms should not be made illegal. Notice the term firearm instead of weapon. A firearm is not a weapon until it is used to hurt someone. More guns in the hands of safe and law abiding people is a safer solution to banning guns.”

Christopher Krier, a senior says, “I’m undecided on whether or not I would like to participate in the upcoming march. I don’t believe guns are our nation’s problem, but rather the people and how their children are being raised. Parents need to be more involved in their parents lives, and look for warning signs. Be involved in their activity on social media, and odd tendencies. People that want to cause damage are going to cause damage buying a gun legally or not. If I was going to participate in the march, I would do it out of respect for the 17 people killed in Florida.”

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Arrowhead Union High School District and Hamilton School District planned to talk about the upcoming walk out event on the last week of February.

The March For Our Lives Foundation states, “School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing.  The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.  No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”