7 actions college students can take to support gun control, without walking out

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The National School Walkouts are planned to take place April 20.

Lilli Hime

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman High school shooting, which left 17 dead, many have an invigorated sense of faith that this is finally the turning point for common sense gun control. It’s been led by none other than survivors of the shooting, high school students who have generated a new spark in the push for gun reform.

Among the results of their leadership is the planning of a National School Walkouts on April 20, where students will not return to the classroom until Congress passes stronger legislation to keep students safe.

And while I truly support these young leaders, I worry for how college students will find ourselves in this national action. There’s a few things that make it difficult for college students to back this movement, namely the fact that we are paying for our higher education.

While at first, we may feel a sense of ignored duty to be part of the change for gun reform and thus, guilt, we shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking this is the only option for us. We, as the older counterpart to high school students, have powers they don’t have yet and that we should utilize to support them. Namely, voting.

For this reason, I don’t think it’s reasonable or realistic to expect a national walk out to happen on the collegiate level, but that doesn’t mean college students have only to twiddle our thumbs and continue with our class schedule. We do, in fact, have many different opportunities to help.

  1. Educate yourself on the conversation around mass shootings, gun reform, and what people are saying on all sides. If we are to take part in this conversation, we need to know what is happening and form our own beliefs, gaining as much information as possible.

  2. Learn about your elected officials, especially the ones who take NRA money. What are their stances on gun reform? What do you agree or disagree with them on?

  3. Host a voter registration at your school to help students get registered and take action in the polling booths.

  4. Hold a demonstration on your campus in support of gun reform and ending gun violence.

  5. Talk to your university about campus safety and what their protocol is in the case of an active shooter on campus.

  6. Pressure your university’s admissions to protect the right to protest for high school students by pledging that it will not affect whether or not they are accepted.

  7. Participate in your local March for Our Lives on March 24 or, if your city or town is not holding one, find a way to host your own.

Not walking out is not the equivalent of doing nothing. Whether you choose to walk out or not, there are real actions you can take to support our push for gun reform.