Students at the ACT Magnet High School in Willimantic held a walkout Monday, just two days after tens of thousands of people participated in the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.
The message with all these events is the same: Students don’t want to fear for their lives in school, so they’re pushing legislators to enact tougher gun laws.
Their demands include a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines nationwide, as well as extensive background checks for all gun purchases.
Students from Connecticut, some directly affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy, stood shoulder to shoulder will other survivors during the March for Our Lives over the weekend. The Willimantic students chose to hold their event on March 26 to honor the 26 victims who died at Sandy Hook.
Students at these marches said they wanted tougher gun laws and their plan to pressure politicians through their vote.
“When is enough. Enough was Sandy Hook. Enough was Columbine. Enough is now. We’re so sick and tired of hearing just thoughts and prayers. It’s the time for action now," said Tayon Kulos, the student council president.
About 50 students walked down to Memorial Park then held a moment of silence followed by a speech and performances.
Gun rights supporters in Connecticut acknowledge the passion of the youth, but they don’t think the long-term consequences are being considered, especially when it comes to the Second Amendment.
Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, released the following statement:
"All of us are frustrated and angered when a dangerous person can simply walk into a school and murder innocent children. School policies that leave children unprotected, and law enforcement that have in many instances not reacted fast enough are to blame, not legal gun owners. Students protesting should know that it is the systemic failures which lawmakers impose that lead to such catastrophic events over and over. We believe children in schools need to be protected, along with our constitutional rights as Americans."