Lane Murdock was only 10-years-old when the Newtown tragedy rattled our state to the very bones.  Teachers went from educators to human shields and children were no longer safe in the classroom.  Now, five years later, she’s using her voice and experience to change the nation for the better.  This Ridgefield High School sophomore launched a petition and helped organize the National School Walkout Movement.

Murdock told Gizmodo that her school was only 20 minutes away from Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Since then, Murdock watched countless mass shootings and little legislation to stop them.  As time passed, she grew more frustrated by political inaction.

Following the Parkland incident, where a gunman killed 17 people, Murdock said enough was enough.   That’s because, by then, she didn’t feel shocked it happened.

“It’s our new normal. It didn’t feel surprising. And that’s not okay.”

There is a mass shooting in America 9 out of 10 days of the calendar year.  As mass shootings grew, our capability to feel shock faded.

And, honestly, that’s sickening that we have become so desensitized to such violence.

Since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Murdock and several other high schoolers launched a nationwide petition for gun control.  So far, over 100,000 signed her petition.

She urges legislators to pass common sense gun laws so future classrooms will remain safe from harm.

However, this petition goes further than calling for change.  Murdock also designed the petition to give teenagers a voice because most students have no right to vote.

“This is for students by students.  As a 15-year-old, a lot of people don’t expect that I could just do this on my own. But no one’s telling us to do this.”

In that petition, she proposes a national walkout and for participants to wear orange.  The idea of her National School Walkout Movement quickly went viral with students around the nation willing to take part.

The symbolic date for the walkout?  April 20th: the same day as the Columbine massacre where the lives of  12 students and one teacher ended that day in 1999.

“Nothing has changed since Columbine, let us start a movement that lets the government know the time for change is now.”

The design of the walkout is to show politicians that their complacency is no longer tolerated.  Considering these teens will be allowed to vote in a few short years, lawmakers should take notice.

Murdock also welcomes educators, officials, and school employees to take a stand with them.  Her reasoning?  Gun control affects their lives, too.

To keep everyone updated on future plans and progress, Murdock launched an official Twitter.  So far, it amassed over 105k followers.

Murdock shares new information regarding the walkout as well as retweets statistics concerning gun violence in America.

As for those criticizing the walkout as a way for students to ditch classes and loaf off, Murdock says that’s definitely not the case.

“We want this to be a peaceful protest and we want people to work together.”

Students are fed up.  They’re tired of drills about what to do if an attacker ever enters their classroom.  And, most importantly, they’re sick of waiting for one to come.

When an active shooter threat becomes a normal part in a child’s life, we as a nation have failed.  Our leaders have failed and our media has failed, too.

When our media uses mass shootings and the shooter’s name/face to attract views – they only encourage copycats hungry for the same fame and attention.

They feed the next mass shooter, simple as that.

Sure, I support the 2nd amendment and the right to keep and bear arms.  I was a member of the marksmanship team and fired several “assault” weapons for fun.  I’m part of a blue family, which means I grew up around guns and was instructed from a young age on how to use them and respect them.

Because of that, I will never point a gun at another person unless I absolutely must, as in the case of self defense.  Most responsible gun owners feel the exact same way.

But, I digress.  Some people, AKA those who pose a danger to themselves and others, do not deserve the right to bear arms.  It’s because their right to bear arms does not trump other people’s safety and right to live.

Sure, owning a gun is a right and I do not support an outright ban of guns.  But, it is a responsibility that these weapons stay out of the wrong hands.

Sure, a good guy with a gun does stand in the way of a bad guy with a gun… but why should the bad guy have a gun in the first place?  Food for thought.

To learn more about Murdock’s National School Walkout Movement, click HERE.

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