Dani Robbins

Why I Will Walk Out, a guest blog

In Advocacy, Leadership, Lessons Learned on March 14, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Multiple times today, March 13, 2018, I was asked what I thought walking out of school would do for America and why I thought that my actions would have enough of an impact to make a change. Some of those who asked me were ignorant and attempting to make fun of me, but some of the people were genuinely curious. I have to admit, their questions did make me think. Why am I walking out? What difference do I think I’ll make in the big picture? I’ve been thinking about these questions all day, trying to find the words for the impact that I hope to make, and I finally have a solid answer.

I am walking out tomorrow to stand with my peers in the hopes that someone will hear our cries. We’re scared. The power went out today and I couldn’t breathe because of all the conclusions that my head jumped to. Conclusions that were put into my head by Nikolas Cruz, and other school shooters. What if today had been my last day to live?

If our government will do nothing, my peers and I will. Someone needs to say “no, we are not okay with this”. We want control, and we want it now. We want safety, and we want it now. We want to be heard, and we will. Students in my high school, and students in countless other high schools will peacefully raise our voices in unison to ask for a change. If enough of us speak up, someone will hear our message loud and clear, and when they do, something will change, and if it doesn’t, then I guess we’ll just have to be louder. I guess we’ll just have to do more.

I am walking out tomorrow to show anyone who might be watching that I am not okay with the current way that unqualified buyers are able to purchase guns. The man in Florida was just 19 when he shot and killed 17 people with families. The FBI has admitted that he had been on their radar since at least last year. And he was still able to buy a gun? This feels like the punch line to a bad joke. 17 people die and what do people care about? They want to keep their AR 15s. You know, for protection purposes. If only the children and staff at  Stoneman Douglas had the luxury of protection. “I want my guns” people scream. “I want my dad back. I want my mom back. I want my son back. I want my daughter back. I want my husband back. I want my wife back. We want our lives back.” The victims sob. Is anyone listening to them? I am, and I want to help them in the scariest times of their lives.

I am walking out tomorrow to remember the lives that were lost. 17 lives were lost. That’s not a statistic. That is 17 individual families who just got destroyed. 17 families who need support while our president tells them that they should have done more. One of the lost ones, was a wrestling coach. He had four children and a wife. That’s four children who now have no father. That’s a wife with no husband, raising her children alone. Everyone on the wrestling team loved their coach. He was a father figure to each and every one of them, too. Each of those kids just lost a guide in the dark path of high school. How did he die? He died protecting the kids in his school. His name was Chris Hixon. He had a name. There was a football coach who died shielding his students from the shooter. His name was Aaron Feis. He had a name. Cara Loughran. Alex Schachter. Scott Beigel. Alaina Petty. Helena Ramsey. Carmen Schentrup. Luke Hoyer. Nicholas Dworet. Meadow Pollack. Jaime Guttenberg. Joaquin Oliver. Peter Wang. Martin Duque. Gina Montalto. Alyssa Alhadeff. They all had names, they all had families and they’re all dead. How many more people have to die before something changes?

So next time, when I am asked why I walk out, why I make a fuss, I will say, “I walk out because I am tired of being quiet. I walk out because I am not willing to go unheard. I walk out because I am ready to fight for what I believe in. I walk out to try and make a difference. Are you?”

 

This is a guest blog by Sydney Zulich, a local H.S student.

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  1. Dear Sydney:
    Your letter is extremely moving and, also, comforting. It’s comforting in that it shows that clear, sensible thought is not dead. It’s comforting to know that the young people of today have a good head on their shoulders and intend to use it to unify- not divide- the world we live in.
    Guns are sometimes a necessary evil to protect the ones we love from heartless people who have no conscience and feel that killing is OK. In the hands of trained persons, who are using a weapon to defend themselves or the lives of innocent person, there is a place for a gun. HOWEVER, to have a vast amount of weapons in a ‘civilized’ society that is fairly stable, is totally unnecessary, and invites problems. Why ANYONE in North America (except the proper authorities) would need an assault rifle, is beyond me. That’s just inviting trouble.
    I’ve read that the amount of weapons in the U.S. is more than the total population. Sorry, that doesn’t make any sense, at all, to me.
    You, and your fellow youths, have to keep up your fight. Making your wishes known at the voting polls is one very important way. You must start electing people who will listen to the vast majority of Americans who are against the proliferation of guns. You must help loosen the NRA’s grip on the elected officials of your towns, states, and country.
    People in the U.S. say, “It is my RIGHT to carry a gun. It’s in the constitution.” Isn’t it time to look beyond the words to look at the reason the Second Amendment was put into the constitution. Surly it wasn’t to kill your fellow American. That is the only purpose of guns, especially assault rifles. Guns (of any kind) in the homes, invites disaster, from a child getting hold of a weapon, to anger boiling over into uncontrollable fury that results in a momentary lapse of judgement and a lifetime of regret.
    Please, please don’t give up your quest for sanity in this matter. There are many, many people who agree with you. Don’t stop at protesting and school walk-outs. Help do the right things and get the guns out of the hands of people who really don’t need to have them. The shooting statistics of many other countries show that guns in the homes aren’t necessary. It starts with you. Keep it up. Don’t stop your peaceful protesting- and make it a legal, legislative matter.
    You should be very proud of what you are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very well written Sydney, I am encouraged that our youth are approaching this issue in a clear headed and focused way, I pray that adults and our elected officials will follow your lead.

    Like

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