The Spartan Speaks

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Walk Up Not Out

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The national school walk out on March 14 was to speak out about gun violence and to have a moment of silence for the victims of the Stoneman Douglas Marjory High School. One father of a victim, Ryan Petty, speaks out to say walk up not out.

“Instead of walking out of school in March 14, encourage students to walk up- walk up to the kid who sits alone at lunch and invite him to sit with your group; walk up to the kid who sits quietly in the corner of the room and sit next to her, smile and say hi; walk up to the kid who causes disturbances in class and ask how he’s doing; walk up to your teachers and thank them; walk up to someone “ewho has different views than you and get to know them- you may be surprised at how much you have in common. Build in that foundation instead of casting stones. I challenge students to find 14 students and 3 adults to walk up and say something nice in honor of those who died in Florida on the 14 of March,” said Petty.

59% of the 185 public mass shootings that took place in the United States from 1900 to 2017 were from people who had been diagnosed with a mental disorder or had shown signs of serious mental illness before the attacks, according to the book Mass Murder in the United States: A History.

“I agree with it because if you look at statistics a lot of people who commit the shootings end up being mentally unstable, and need help but don’t know how to initiate it, and you could have saved a life by just saying hi,” junior Emerson Sankey said.

In 2017 a total of 346 mass shootings occurred. So far in 2018 on average of 1 school shooting per week has occurred according to CNN.

“Other schools actually protested and Orono did not do anything and just stood outside and said how horrible the guns were and didn’t talk about how we treat people with mental illness,” senior Alayna Ahlstrom said.

The walkout was a very one-sided event for many schools. Only discussion on banning the NRA (National Rifle Association) and more specifically AR-15s, which is an assault rifle, from the public’s hands. I believe that taking away our right to bear arms will only cause more chaos than good.

“I think the walkout was very ineffective and maybe did more bad than good. The walkouts were loosely coordinated and were not supported throughout the students and faculty. The biggest issue with the walkout was the lack of discussion,” senior Harrison Lindbloom said.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” as stated in the Constitution of the United States of America. It clearly states that it is the right of the people to bear Arms to be necessary for the security of a FREE state. I believe it should stay this way in order for our rights to not become infringed upon and to keep it a free state.

“Actually, when I walked out of school on March 14th, I got to meet many new people that I didn’t know before, and many new and productive conversations were started because of it,” junior Carolyn Fritz said.

Many conversations were struck up during the walkout on March 14th; Fritz encountered various productive conversations that dug deeper into the issue of gun violence.

I believe the message of walking up is a more effective stance on the gun violence issue and helps support mental health awareness considering 59% of gun violence are carried by people with mental health disorders. I also believe we should keep the right to bear Arms in order to contain our second amendment rights to a free state. Walking up is a two-sided story.

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Walk Up Not Out