Editorial: The walkout is just part of the movement

A crucial part of political activism is persistence. People must follow through on their demands for the government. It is easy to go on Facebook and write a post about current events or march at a political protest, but your efforts cannot end there. Although rallying with other people behind a unified cause is a necessary first step, it is only the beginning.
This month, Schreiber students joined thousands of other schools in walking out of classrooms at 10 a.m. to protest the lack of gun regulations in this country. This was a peaceful way to force people to pay attention to the issue — a hope that the gun violence problem would be addressed by the government. However, more can still be done to promote change.
For example, teaching students how to reach out to representatives by calling their office or sending letters is an effective method of continuing the activism. It is not sufficient to let the walkout be students’ last and only attempt at provoking changes in legislation. Although many of us cannot vote yet, we can still make our voices heard by informing local politicians about our concerns and even suggesting potential solutions to existing issues.
Students can explain to politicians that incidents of gun violence can be reduced through regulations. Direct contact ensures that our voices are being heard, as there is strength in numbers and the more students contact their elected officials, the greater their chance of making an impact. Students could pressure politicians to stop accepting donations from the NRA, an organization that actively opposes gun regulations.
President Donald Trump has said that the Republican party was “afraid” of supporting gun restriction legislation due to their fear of losing campaign donations and supporters. By reaching out to representatives of both parties, students can show them just how many people are actually in favor of passing gun restrictions.
There are a variety of organizations in charge of continuing the political activism. For instance, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America placed a full-page ad in The New York Times that listed 100 lawmakers, their phone numbers, and the amount of money they received from the NRA. This way, people could reassure them that supporting gun control and losing the NRA’s funds would not have negative repercussions.
There are many ways to continue this movement, so there is no reason that we should end it with the walkout.