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The Fight for Gun Control

Rebecca Tatera, Contributing Writer

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After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school shooting killed 17 students and faculty members, the decades-long fight for gun control gained new momentum. Students began to exercise their right to protest, speak their mind, and petition for what they thought was right.

When students across the country participated in student walkouts, they were met with varying punishments. According to CNN, some students who participated in school walkouts to protest gun violence “are serving detention or in-school suspension,” while others are receiving “two swats with a wooden paddle.”

Students are in school to receive an education and learn how to become active members in our society. By participating in a protest, students are learning to do just that. No student should be punished for exercising their right to free speech.

In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court supports these students as well. According to CNN, in the Tinker v. Des Moines case, “the Supreme Court ruled students don’t ‘shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.’”

Today’s students live with the fear of being shot everyday at school, and gun control is the way to alleviate this fear.

Emma Gonzalez, who was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school and now a leader in the fight for gun control, was called a “skinhead lesbian” by Leslie Gibson, a former candidate in the Maine election.

According to the Sun Journal, a newspaper from Maine, Gibson said he made these comments to protect his “constitutional rights from those who seek their elimination.”

Gibson is an adult man who has less respect and decency than any of these children who are fighting for what’s right. He is also engaging in hate speech.

Former Candidate Gibson (who resigned over the backlash to his comments): There is nothing wrong with being a lesbian. Or gay. Or bi-sexual. Or asexual. oOr heterosexual. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to be able to be in school to learn and not get shot.

It’s wrong to target children. It is wrong when a person value the right to own a gun more than the right of a child to receive an education.

A huge misconception I’ve noticed in the gun control movement is that democrats want to take away all guns. I am a democrat. I want gun control. This means:

  • Stronger and more frequent background checks.
  • A stricter age limit on who can purchase guns.
  • Stronger restrictions on what type of guns can be made available to the public, because no one, no one, needs to have an AR-15.  

These kids are leading a movement stronger than any school that seeks to restrict their free speech, or Gibson, or anyone else who may block their path to justice.

I back them 110 percent and I won’t stop supporting these children and the fight for gun control until I see change.

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The Fight for Gun Control