On Wednesday, March 14, at approximately 10:00 AM, schools across the country participated in the #ENOUGH National School Walkout to appeal to lawmakers for stricter gun control. On this day, exactly one month ago, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida shocked and saddened the world.
Since that tragedy, the nation has been in a renewed and emboldened debate over stricter gun laws. The focus of the #ENOUGH movement is speaking up against all gun violence—not only the high-profile instances but also the gun violence which impacts students in inner-city schools and countless others on a daily basis. It hopes to put an end to tragedies like Parkland, Columbine, and Sandy Hook.
Today, our Good Counsel community gathered together around the newly built Our Lady of Good Counsel grotto to listen to speeches from senior student leaders, participate in a moment of silence, and pray. The entire process lasted seventeen minutes, a minute in honor of each Parkland victim.
Senior Helton Rodriguez began the gathering with words of remembrance. "We meet here today to honor and pay tribute to those lost, and share a moment of solidarity with all those directly affected by this tragedy and keep them in our thoughts. Some of the lost were no older than the freshmen at our school. Others had already begun to make plans for the college they were to attend in the fall and were ready to begin the next step in their lives. Even adults, who put themselves last and tried to get kids to safety, were killed and will never be able to go home to their families, again. While we alone will never know the answer as to why such tragedies continuously happen, or how to keep them from ever happening again, we gather to show compassion, trust that righteousness will come from such low moments, and hope to encourage a zealous proactive attitude to stand up as one."Others like senior Caterina Ieronimo called for her fellow classmates to take action. "Many of us will be voting in the next election. But we don't have to wait until then to take action. What lawmakers do now will impact whether they remain in office, so it is imperative that we do our part in letting them know what issues are important to us. Calling and writing letters to representatives, lobbying, and protesting are just a few of the ways we can influence state and federal policy."
Here at Good Counsel, we emphasize the Xaverian Values. Today, we hope to embody them—humility and compassion most—as we support our nation and its fight against injustice.