Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Guns are not worth more than children’s lives’: One month after Florida massacre, students in Lawrence join national walkout

Students at Lawrence High walk out of class Wednesday, March 14, 2018, as part of a national protest against gun violence.

Students at Lawrence High walk out of class Wednesday, March 14, 2018, as part of a national protest against gun violence.

March 14, 2018, 9:10 a.m. Updated March 14, 2018, 11:59 a.m.

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For 17 minutes starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, hundreds of Lawrence students joined countless others across the country in a walkout to honor the 17 victims of last month’s Parkland, Fla., shooting and to protest gun violence.

Wednesday marked one month since the shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a tragedy that has not faded from the minds of young activists at Lawrence High School. Around 400 students walked out of classes Wednesday and gathered near the school’s front entrance, where sophomore Elliot Bradley read the 17 names of the Parkland victims aloud. His peers stood silently as Bradley spoke of the victims and lives cut short by gun violence. He and his fellow protesters are seeking legislative change in an effort to prevent such shootings in the future, and they say they aren’t backing down.

“We’re not going to add security systems. We’re not going to arm teachers. We’re going to make this a safer place,” Bradley told his fellow students Wednesday.

Multiple lawmakers and gun rights activists have proposed such “school-hardening” measures in the wake of the Parkland shooting, with President Donald Trump, notably, suggesting that schools arm teachers to deter shooters. Josie Abernathy, of LHS, said she was motivated to attend Wednesday's protest partly because of what she sees as a slowness or unwillingness by politicians to seriously address the issue.

“There’s been way too many instances where this has happened, and the government is doing nothing about it,” said Abernathy, a 16-year-old sophomore. “Any day, my peers could die, and it’s awful to imagine.”

Students expressed similar sentiments in the homemade signs they carried throughout the protest. Their handwritten messages included “Guns don’t kill people, legislators do” and “Your greed is funding murder. How many more will it take?” Some paid tribute to victims of the Parkland shooting and other victims of gun violence, bearing names like Michael Brown and Philando Castile, in addition to the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut. Others simply asked, “Am I next?”

Satori Good, a senior at LHS, said she attended that morning’s walkout “because the loss of lives is not worth keeping guns around or not having restrictions on them.” She wants to see serious change come out of protests like hers and the countless other student-led demonstrations taking place nationwide.

That change, she said, starts with conversation. At the very least, she hopes the Lawrence High protest will get people talking.

“This protest and every other protest around the country — I hope it opens people’s eyes that guns are not worth more than children’s lives,” Good said.

Parents and community members gather around Lawrence High School, Wednesday, March 14, 2018, to show support for students who walked out of class as part of a national protest against gun violence.

Parents and community members gather around Lawrence High School, Wednesday, March 14, 2018, to show support for students who walked out of class as part of a national protest against gun violence.

Lawrence High School was also the site of “Wrap the Walkout,” a local initiative calling on adults to “wrap” themselves around the school in a symbolic show of support and protection. Around 200 gathered around the school’s perimeter Wednesday morning.

Classes in the Lawrence district were to follow the regular schedule Wednesday, and any absences associated specifically with the national walkouts were to be excused, a spokeswoman for the Lawrence district said.

Students at Free State also held a walkout Wednesday, as did some of Lawrence’s middle schools.

Free State Principal Myron Graber estimated that about 100 students took part in the demonstration.

Langston Hughes Elementary, instead of specifically targeting gun violence, was hosting a more age-appropriate "Day of Kindness."

Inquiries to the district about protests at other schools are pending.

An estimated 1,000 students from Topeka High School took part in a national walkout Wednesday, March 14, 2018, to protest gun violence and marched three blocks to the Kansas Statehouse where they briefly merged with another rally organized by the Kansas chapter of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

An estimated 1,000 students from Topeka High School took part in a national walkout Wednesday, March 14, 2018, to protest gun violence and marched three blocks to the Kansas Statehouse where they briefly merged with another rally organized by the Kansas chapter of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

In Topeka, a large rally took place around the Capitol, with hundreds of students and members of the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Check back as this story develops.

Comments

Geoff Ermlap 1 month, 1 week ago

Good for these students getting involved in an issue that many adults have failed them on. The argument that the only solution is more guns has continually resulted in more and more gun violence. The narrative needs to be moved towards stopping one or two and then three or four mass shooting rather than not doing anything because the choices available won't stop all mass shootings immediately.

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

Not true. Few argue for more guns except in the sense of providing armed security to protect school children. Fighting against banning guns without basis is not the same as advocating for more guns. Of course there are those who are so weak and are scared of guns who will oppose armed security to protect children. They eont understand the difference between more guns in the sense of protecting children as opposed to a general call of more guns. They want all guns banned

And yes, there are individuals, groups and states that want to ban and confiscate guns. Illinois has a bill to do that now.

Name something that will stop a mass shooting. Armed security will stop school shootings of innocent children.

Daniel Kennamore 1 month, 1 week ago

"Few argue for more guns...[finishes sentence with a call for more guns]"

Man you gun nuts are predictable.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

Cary, that is an eye-opening chart you've got there. And it shows me one glaring conclusion: all the causes of death listed are currently being researched, and FOUGHT, by scientific means. Vaccines, research, statutes: all are aimed at understanding the causes of and cutting down the incidence of those killers.

Point out to me what scientific method is being applied to gun violence. And scientific method does not include emotional, knee jerk action and reaction from either side of the gun problem.

We, as a nation, have been able to attack nearly every malady known to man, not always successfully, but in an attempt to allay suffering and death. Why in God's name can we not put our minds, scientifically, to this issue?

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

Politics.

We should study it - no we must study it. Violence is an epidemic and we need a cure.

The one part of the chart that I’d like to see more info is when they say concealed carry leads to more gun violence, how is that defined? Does a CC holder shooting a criminal add to the uptick?

Daniel Kennamore 1 month, 1 week ago

"Point out to me what scientific method is being applied to gun violence."

That's difficult to do since the NRA successfully got all research on the issue defunded.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 month, 1 week ago

We could find a solution to this to, but the government won't let the CDC do the research. Why wouldn't anyone support the research?

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

The quote I pasted is interesting. We don’t know what would prevent mass shootings but we are going to ban guns.

”There´s not enough data to show what would prevent mass shootings. There is no universal definition of a mass shooting, which, along with their relative rarity, makes it hard it hard to spot trends, such as whether mass shootings are on the rise. Studies looking at seven of the investigated policies, including concealed carry laws and background checks, were inconclusive about whether those policies lowered the likelihood of a mass shooting. For nearly half the gun policies, including gun-free zones, prohibitions associated with mental illness and stand-your-ground laws, no studies met the researchers’ criteria.“

Cary Ediger 1 month, 1 week ago

Where does it say that in the quote ?

"We don’t know what would prevent mass shootings but we are going to ban guns."

Never mind, I don't feel like playing this game today. Click on the links within the article and read the research.

Kathleen Christian 1 month, 1 week ago

Adolf Hitler wrote in his book, Mein Kampf: “The best way to take control over people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

I agree there is absolutely no need for rapid-repeat firing assault weapons in our society unless we are at war on the grounds of this country. They should be banned. Instead of preventing citizens from owning a gun there needs to be stronger background checks and have a database which connects to every state about anyone buying or owning a gun. I think everyone who wants to own a gun should have a mental health review. There are too many irresponsible gun owners. Some people have no business owning a gun as some people have no business having a driver's license, but that's another story.

As for the kids protesting. I don't think its enough. I think they are going about it the wrong way. Most have no clue what they are really protesting about and just want to get out of class. Its a waste of time they need to go back and get educated then perhaps in time they will learn to understand what is really going on.

When I was a kid people owned guns. The law was they had to be visible. I remember seeing pick up trucks with gun racks holding rifles on them. Never heard about mass shootings, or school shootings. Individual shootings, usually random, but not like today. Think about it these have increased since Ronald Reagan closed mental health facilities. So has homelessness. There are so many people who need intense guarded mental health care in a live-in facility to prevent some of these things from happening. It is just a fact. When is the Government going to realize this and start paying attention to this problem of mental instability?

Totally banning guns is not the answer. They just keep putting band-aids on the problem instead of enacting a bold and determined law.

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

Kathleen you seem like a reasonable person so I ask these questions not to demean what you said, but to continue the discussion. I contend that narrow gun bans, while they may be constitutional, are not effective and a broad ban is unconstitutional.

How do you define an assault weapon and rapid fire to make it effective and Constitutional?

Kathleen Christian 1 month, 1 week ago

Were they not made to specially kill another human being? As in war. We are not at war with another with another country, therefore they are not needed at this time.

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

All guns are made to kill people. So you want to ban all guns? If so, then you need to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Many bolt action rifles are modeled after rifles used in war. Do you want to ban them

Most weapons currently available to civilians are used by the military - they use better weapons with the exception of maybe a pistol.

So how do you define an assault Weapon?

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

Brock, it really makes no difference, now, does it? A weapon that is designed to fire a large number of rounds in a short time is an assault weapon, by any but the narrowest of definitions. Semi-automatics can shoot a great number of lethal or potentially lethal bullets in an incredibly short time. Take into account that the targets are usually confined to a fairly small space, like a classroom or school hallway or concert venue, and the number of potential wounded and killed is not important. You guys are hanging a lot of hats on the definition of "assault rifle" when what you and I, in particular, have said is that we need to study why these things are happening and come up with a solution. Arguing the "assault rifle" question is not important. Arguing, and proving, that there is or is not a correlation between more or fewer guns or more or less concealed carry, measurable things such as those, is what is going to make it easier to come to a consensus between the opposing viewpoints.

Forget definitions. Forget the Second Amendment. Remember that we, as a nation, are responsible for the health and safety of our citizens. Your Second Amendments is not going anywhere, and you know it. Reasonable restrictions are not going to hurt anyone but the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. And that is the wish of each and every one of us involved in this conversation, isn't it?

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

Greg, the definition is important when people are calling for the ban of assault weapons. If the definition is not correct and narrow then it will ban most guns currently available to civilians.

We can’t really discuss other solutions when people like Kathleen ignorantly propose banning assault weapons which by her definition includes pistols and shotguns.

Is it your intent to ban all semi-auto rifles, shotguns and pistols? If not then you have to get the definition right.

So when a person proposes banning weapons like Kathleen did without understanding what weapons she was proposing to ban then yes i need to push back.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

I understand, Brock, and I hope you've found my posts to be reasonable. But, and I truly believe this, those who are not acquainted with the various definitions are not, in my mind, to be put down. You and I know the definitions, and we can argue civilly about the actual issue, which is some sort of gun control. But to those who are not, so what? Their argument about guns may be based more on the results of gun violence than the types of guns used. So what? All you can do is respond to the base argument, which, in my mind, is how do we reduce gun violence. Forget about educating those who don't want to know, because they, yeah, don't want to know. But, and this is the basic argument, there is too much gun violence that has not been studied and addressed enough by those who DO know the definitions.

Try, for a while, to forget about educating people about the difference between a pistol and a bazooka. Try, as I have, to come to a common ground. "Do you want "assault weapons" banned or do you want to find a way to reduce GUN violence? To them, it will always be the same. To you, it's not, but the underlying fear, that of death and maiming by gunfire, can and must be addressed. Be the big guy and go with that. All else will fall in line.

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

You’ve given me something to think about. Kinda do you want to be right or do you want create change. Doesn’t matter if you’re right if you can’t create change.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

My point, exactly. Thank you for understanding.

Now, you and I, and everyone with a dog in this hunt, need to get the word out that change is the issue, not the weapon. Conversation is good when it addresses the root need rather than the symptom.

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

See my post on We need more guns. You influenced it.

Aaron McGrogor 1 month, 1 week ago

"As for the kids protesting. I don't think its enough. I think they are going about it the wrong way. Most have no clue what they are really protesting about and just want to get out of class. Its a waste of time they need to go back and get educated then perhaps in time they will learn to understand what is really going on."

That is a massive assumption. I think you and many others underestimate our youth.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 month, 1 week ago

That is such and insult to our kids. Anyone who bothers to work with kids know that they are not clueless. In fact I think they are more aware of what is going on in the world than we were at that age, and that many adults are even now.

Bob Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

This current business is Astroturfed to a fair-thee-well.

Jamie Johnson 1 month, 1 week ago

Kathleen, no need to worry. As a high school teacher here in Lawrence, I am happy to report that our students are, by and large, perceptive, motivated, and quite capable of educating themselves regarding current events (thanks, public education!). As for those outliers escaping the classroom, perhaps they will absorb some knowledge and empathy even if that was not the original intention. Teenagers aren't perfect, but attempts to criticize and disrespect them into silence/compliance is an insult to their intelligence. I love my students, and I couldn't be more proud of them. From here on the front lines, (pun intended!) I am happy to report the future is in good hands.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 month, 1 week ago

But when we were little, people used guns to to hunt, and not everyone had a gun. My family and the families I knew didn't have guns. Now everyone has a gun, without growing up with them and learning to use them properly.

It's become kind of a fad to own a gun. Part of that was caused by the NRA, when they said Obama was coming for their guns. Part of it was spreading fear, making people think crime was on the rise, even though it wasn't. People went out and bought more guns. And don't kid yourself. The NRA board members had investments in gun manufacturing. They made some money.

I'm tired of the black and white of this argument. People do not want to ban guns. There are many other laws, such as licensing, requiring real training, and red flag laws that would go a long way towards saving lives, and not step on the rights of responsible gun owners. We could also also put drug enforcement money into rehab, and let law enforcement concentrate on busting illegal gun sales.

Frank A Janzen 1 month, 1 week ago

There is no evidence that Adolf Hitler ever said or wrote anything like this, even allowing for the vagaries of translation from German to English. This quotation is often cited as having come from Mein Kampf, the autobiography and political polemic written by Hitler during his during stay in Landsberg prison, but no such passage appears in that work. In fact, this quotation appears to have been virtually non-existent until 2014, when it was used as the heading to Chapter 11 of Willfully Ignorant, a novel by Pat Miller set in Nazi-era Germany. (That book also mistakenly cited Mein Kampf as the source of the quotation.)

Steve Jacob 1 month, 1 week ago

It looks like the government response/solution is to limit gun sales to people 21 and over. Pretty soon the only thing the government will let 19-20 year old do is die on a foreign battlefield.

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

I saw an interesting meme that showed the age of the recent mass shooters. All except one were 21 or over and the one that wasn’t stole the gun.

Raising the age sounds great but is it really going to fix the problem.

Bridgett Walthall 1 month, 1 week ago

An interesting meme, you say? That doesn't strike me as a reliable source and these numbers look sketch to me, so how about you post some proof?

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

You are right that memes are not good sources of info, but it did raise a point. I simply raised the question will raising the age fix the problem.

Tell me how many mass killings are committed by people under 21 who legally purchased and possess the weapons?

https://www.vox.com/2018/2/27/17042228/age-limit-guns-florida-shooting-ar15

Bob Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

It's nice that the useful ID 10 Ts are dropping the mask and letting us know what their end game is.

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

How many of the kids that walked out today would be in favor of raising the driving age even though it’d save lives? I guess very few.

How many of you would be in favor of limiting drinks served in restaurants to no more than one per hour with a limit of 3? It would save lives so why not?

I will tell you why not. It isn’t really about saving lives but a political game.

Daniel Kennamore 1 month, 1 week ago

Whataboutism aside, I don't have a problem with either of those.

There are also already limits to how much can be legally served by a bar on the books in many places.

Monty Scott 1 month, 1 week ago

Cell phone usage while driving. That's something we can work on to save young lives. Why isn't anyone talking about this. The cell phone has killed more people than so call assault rifles.

Brock Masters 1 month, 1 week ago

Easy fix. Have it be automatically disabled when in motion. iPhone as texting feature that you can set to disable it when in motion. Make it mandatory for all phones. Will save lives.

Could also require cars not to exceed posted speed limit. Technology is there for that too.

Andrew Applegarth 1 month, 1 week ago

No, it won't. The only people who will enable it are the ones who don't text and drive anyway. You can't make it an always-on feature because you have no justification for stopping passengers from texting.

As for speed limiters in cars, that's fine until you get in an emergency situation where increased speed is the difference between life and death. That doesn't even get into the cost and technical issues for storing and accessing the speed limit for every stretch of road in existence.

Andrew Applegarth 1 month, 1 week ago

Then perhaps you should have written it better? I can only respond to what you actually post...

Steve Hicks 1 month, 1 week ago

Another couple good uses for the already-available technology that should be looked at.

As with smart gun technology, all that's lacking is the political will to consider it.

Sam Crow 1 month, 1 week ago

These students are being played like pawns on a chess board.

The student’s walkout was organized and managed by the group Empower, and its parent organization, National Women’s Walk. https://www.womensmarch.com/empower/

Tamika Mallory is the founder and president of that group. She also has direct ties to the National Action Network, as her parents were cofounders of that group with the racist Al Sharpton.

Worst yet are her direct ties to Louis Farrakhan.

From the Wall Street Journal today: “Two weeks ago, when Farrakhan delivered his annual address to a Nation of Islam gathering in Chicago, he gave a shout-out to Mallory, who was in the audience. Farrakhan’s speech was, as it usually is, replete with anti-Semitic, homophobic, and transphobic invectives. When the news of Mallory’s presence at the event surfaced, she did not disavow Farrakhan’s comments. (Mallory and fellow Women’s March leader Carmen Perez have both posted pictures of themselves with Farrakhan to Instagram; in a caption, Mallory calls him “definitely the goat”—the greatest of all time.)”

Farrakhan said, as usual, “ The Jews are also the mother and father of apartheid responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men”

“Farrakhan (referring to himself) has pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through,” he said, getting thoroughly revved up. “You good Jews better separate because the satanic ones will take you to hell with them because that’s where they are headed.”

Were these students made aware of the walkouts connections to the anti semite, anti gay groups ?

At least if the students are going dance like puppets, they should know who is pulling the strings

Daniel Kennamore 1 month, 1 week ago

If anyone ever needs an example of an ad hominem attack for a textbook or something, I'll point them to that drivel you just wrote.

Sam Crow 1 month, 1 week ago

To quote Tom Cruise, "you can't handle the truth !"

Cary Ediger 1 month, 1 week ago

That was Jack Nicholson, not Tom ....

Steve Hicks 1 month, 1 week ago

Good characterization, Daniel: "drivel."

Steve Hicks 1 month, 1 week ago

Sam, it's impossible to help a conspiracy-thinker see that his conspiracy-theory is wrong: his self-identity is vested in it.

Thanks for the invitation, but no thanks.

Bob Summers 1 month, 1 week ago

Does this complex critically thought out axiomatic statement by the congenitally Liberal mind, 'Guns are not worth more than children’s lives' mean there is something worth more than the lives of children?

Maybe Liberal females right to choose?

Aaron McGrogor 1 month, 1 week ago

The point of that statement is that guns are being treated right now as if they are worth more than children's lives.

A woman's right to choose what she does with her body is not in any way relevant to this topic.

Bob Summers 1 month, 1 week ago

You kind Sir and your genetically identified ideology, is why there is a second amendment.

In fact, for that matter, it is why the Constitution was drafted.

Aaron McGrogor 1 month, 1 week ago

What is it with your "genetically identified" bull?

Charles Jones 1 month, 1 week ago

So proud of these kids. The LHS event was quiet and dignified and moving. Their parents raised them right. Let's hope they also raised them to be effective.

Steve Hicks 1 month, 1 week ago

What's most hopeful about the kids' actions is that they take the question off the N.R.A.'s 2nd Amendment smoke-screen, and put it on peoples' lives and safety.

Bob Summers 1 month, 1 week ago

You and your ideology is why the 2nd amendment was drafted.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

What, because the NRA's gun ideology is more important than People's lives and safety? That ideology? Come on, Bob, you can do better than that. I hope.

Bob Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

Excellent example of a false choice in the headline, LJW.

Steve Hicks 1 month, 1 week ago

An ideologue not worth talking to wants to argue that "people's lives and safety" is an evil ideology...showing, again, his self-congratulatory (nobody else is going to do it) contempt for basic values. Showing also his willful ignorance that those basic values are inherent in the founders' ideology of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Bob Smith 1 month ago

The hits keep coming for the Broward County Sheriffs Office. "...Also, a BSO deputy patrolling the inside of the school was suspended after a student reported that the deputy was asleep on duty. Deputy Moises Carotti has been placed under internal investigation. 2:56 PM - 20 Mar 2018..." https://twitter.com/PatriciaMazzei/st...

Richard Heckler 1 month ago

Voting for clear thinking representatives might be the better solution. Which means replacing a few thousand reckless thinking conservatives throughout the nation.

Register and VOTE VOTE VOTE. DON"T WAIT. Keep in mind there is a minority of people with tons of money that have taken over a once clear thinking republican party. Yes republicans in public office have become an endangered species.

How many democrat and old school republican VOTERS have been purged from the voting rolls?

Check your status frequently.

Voters PROTECT Your Right To Vote = ORGANIZE A VOTING DAY PACKET to include plenty of existing ID. Who needs more ID?

--- a birth certificate

--- a drivers license or state ID card

--- proof of voter registration etc etc etc.

--- Military Discharge Papers

--- Passports

--- Keep this packet close to protect your right to vote

Do it today in case it is discovered one or more of the above cannot be found. None of these are difficult to replace. But will take time.

Conservatives believe in voter suppression and believe voter suppression is effective. https://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

Bob Smith 1 month ago

You've been posting this same tripe for years, why do you think anyone will pay attention to it now?

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