California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Students Stand for Gun Control

    California Lutheran University students, faculty and members of the community came together in a demonstration against gun violence on the Spine Friday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    The national walkout rally was created to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School and the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed.

    Cal Lutheran students Cheyenne Boykin, Katie Knapp and Hannah Whittaker decided to organize the event to bring attention to the issue of gun violence

    โ€œWeโ€™ve been doing our best to get as many people involved as possible because we really want this to start discussion and get people to start talking about the issue,โ€ Whittaker said.

    The demonstration began with a speech from Bob Weiss, the father of one of the six people killed in the 2014 mass shooting at Isla Vista. Weiss talked about losing his daughter at the age of 19 and how it changed his life. During his speech, Weiss mentioned that the only way to change gun laws is if young people vote for and support candidates who support gun violence prevention laws.

    The walkout attracted approximately 60 people to hear Weiss speak, design posters, call their elected officials and write letters that will be sent out to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The crowd assembled on the Spine next to Soiland Humanities Center and Jamba Juice.

    The poster design table was run by Her Campus at Cal Lutheran, an online magazine. People were invited to design their own posters with anti-gun slogans and were encouraged to spread the images on social media.

    The table dedicated to contacting politicians was run by the Young Democratic Socialists of America club. Students had the option of contacting any elected official in California. A script was provided at the table for people calling their representatives. The script was created with help from the Ventura County Brady Campaign Chapter, a nonprofit that advocates for increasing gun control and reducing gun violence.

    The script had three main points: expanding background checks, establishing extreme risk orders and banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Knapp said the most popular politician to be called was Rep. Steve Knight. Knight has a lifetime โ€œAโ€ rating from the National Rifle Association, according to Vote Smart.

    A table station was set up for letter making. Students had the option of either adding their signature to a community letter or creating their own letters that will be sent to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

    โ€œI felt like we should, as the Cal Lutheran community send out something out to Marjory Stoneman. Students [wrote] prayers or their own little words of encouragement,โ€ Boykin said.

    A general information table informing students of the danger of guns and domestic violence was manned by AKD Sociology Club.

    Chris Kimball, the president of Cal Lutheran, said he supported the peaceful gathering for promoting an issue as critical as gun violence.

    โ€œPeople should have the ability to speak freely as well as peacefully and civilly. Thatโ€™s part of freedom of expression,โ€ Kimball said. โ€œI think standing for values of being safe and education being safe at school is real important.โ€

    Kimball mentioned that, ultimately, โ€œitโ€™s at the ballot box where change gets made.โ€

    Manuel Lira