Club Spotlight: March For Our Lives

Olivia Seiler, Journalist

March For Our Lives is an organization whose mission is to end gun violence in America. This organization was founded after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting which took place on February 14, 2018. Originally, a “March for Our Lives” protest was planned and took place in Washington D.C. on March 24, 2018. However, with over 880 other March for Our Lives protests taking place across the country and the world (including Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and even Oceania), this march quickly formed into a movement, which has since turned into an organized, nonprofit organization. The mission of this group goes as such: “To harness the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives.” 

 

There is a set strategy and approach the March for Our Lives organization has outlined on their website. They hope to educate others on the forces they believe fuel gun violence in our country; gun glorification, armed supremacy, political apathy and corruption, poverty, and the national mental health crisis. It is from this base understanding that the policy agenda of this group is formulated. So far, members have urged for universal background checks on all gun sales, worked to raise the federal age of gun ownership and possession to 21, closed the gun show loophole, and restored the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. 

 

 Since the founding, hundreds of chapters have been created across the country, including one at Niwot High School. The founder of Niwot’s chapter, senior Sophie Gebhardt, says: “I was inspired to start the chapter through a friend, who had recently created a March For Our Lives club at her school.” When asked why she thought this club would be a good fit for Niwot, she stated that, “this school [Niwot] has a lot of people interested in advocacy and various issues surrounding gun violence.” Sophie hopes that this club will provide education to Niwot students about the importance of gun violence prevention legislation, especially in regard to the history of gun violence in Colorado. 

 

There have been many mass shootings in Colorado, including Columbine High School, the Century 16 theatre in Aurora, Planned parenthood Colorado Springs, STEM School Highlands Ranch, and the most recent King Soopers Boulder tragedy. It is because of these instances and more that the members of the March For Our Lives Niwot chapter find membership to be so important. When asked why she joined, junior Rowan Lavigne said, “I joined to raise awareness about gun violence, especially after the King Soopers shooting in Boulder.” Rowan also hopes that the club will serve to educate people on what is really going on in the politics surrounding the issue of gun violence. Senior Marie Ciminski believes the club will be beneficial for the Niwot High School community, and when asked about it she said, “It benefits the community by encouraging and promoting political engagement and activism in young people.” She believes this to be important in getting young people interested in voting and politics.

 

So far, this club has held a voters registration drive, which was open to over 1000 people. They are also currently drafting letters to state legislators advocating their opinion on gun laws, and what they believe should be the regulations on gun control and will continue to advocate for better gun regulations in Colorado and throughout the US. 

 

Interested in March For Our Lives? Contact Sophie Gebhardt:  [email protected] 

Meetings take place in Mrs. Mudukutore’s room every Monday at 3:00