Karson Madole

Noah Wagner, McKenzie Haberman and Cecilia Nicholson pose with a poster supporting #NeverAgain

Karson Madole

Following the tragic events that unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, many students, community members and organizations have come together to organize a way to end gun violence. A national walkout that was organized and scheduled for exactly one month following the Florida shooting. The protest was not just about Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, but students across the nation.

Students, faculty and community members came together on Wed., March 14 to show support for those impacted by gun violence, and to demonstrate a movement. Many people with different political viewpoints and opinions put bias aside in a peaceful protest. The protest took place on the front steps of the Owatonna High School, and approximately 120 protesters were in attendance with one common goal; to end gun violence.

People from all ages voiced their opinion without using their voice. Senior Maddy Kuck said, “I decided to walk out because it is the right thing to do. It’s like we can give seventeen minutes of our lives for seventeen who can’t.” Kuck participated in the walkout to support those who lost their lives and those who are grieving for those who lost their lives in the Florida shooting. Senior Alexis Hudson said, “I joined the walkout today because it’s not just about us. It’s not just about Florida. It’s about all of the school shootings that have ever happened, and it’s really important to stand up for our peers.”

Steele County Indivisible, an organization that supports ending gun violence, had many representatives in attendance on Wednesday, Mar. 14. This organization is focused on fighting for a kinder and gentler city, state and country. A representative from Steele County Indivisible said, “We have about 15-20 people who come to our meetings. We meet twice a month, once at noon and the other at seven, and we are just starting to talk about how youth are and can get registered to vote. We work on healthcare. We work on immigration and the environment. We have some forums which are open to the public. This Thursday night we have a forum at the history center which will cover women’s history and it would be great if we could get some high school students to join us.” Steele County Indivisible is an active organization consisting of many different people who come together to support making the world a safer place in an way possible. Their next meeting is on Tuesday, Mar. 27 at the Gainey room at the Owatonna Public Library.

With the involvement of many different students, faculty and community members in this national walkout, it is clear that something needs to be done about gun violence. Citizens have come together across the nation to stand for a movement and make schools safer. #NeverAgain.