Nationwide school walkout planned to add pressure for gun safety reforms

Lane Murdock (Mark Davis/WTNH)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–15-year-old Ridgefield High School student Lane Murdock was joined in her effort pushing for a school walkout for action on gun violence by five Connecticut members of Congress and Sandy Hook parent Mark Barden on Friday.

The walkout is schedule for April 20. That’s the date in 1999 that two students at Columbine High School in Colorado murdered 13 people, 12 students and a teacher.

The oratory of  the 15 year old high school sophomore and two others from Ridgefield High School, greatly overshadowed some of the  state’s most senior politicians today.  “Of course kids are getting into action. This surrounds us everyday,”  said Murdock at a State Capitol News Conference today.  18 year old senior Max Cumming saying,  “Every single American who will be 18 by election day should register to vote immediately.”  17 year old senior Paul Kim adding,  “The students, Lane and I the students in Parkland Florida, we’re not going to stop.”

They were joined by Barden, whose son Daniel was one of the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook.

“Here we are again trying to figure this out,” Barden said. “What the hell are we going to do about this? Five years. I’m sick of this. I’m sick of trying to figure this out.”

They and Connecticut’s members of Congress all say that the Parkland Florida school shooting is the tipping point that will force federal action on background checks, renew the push to ban so-called assault weapons, and more funding for mental health intervention.

Lane and her school friends helping her with the online campaign for the April 20th nationwide school walkout say the whole thing blossomed at a Starbucks in Ridgefield the day after Parkland. “It’s not going to be a ‘day off,’ it’s going to be a  ‘day on.’ It’s important that people realize that though we won’t be in class, this will be a day where communities will really be working to get something done.”

Lane says that in the eight days since she started this, she’s heard from kids across the country with well over 100 thousand signing her online petition within the first week.

Ridgefield, like Newtown, is a suburb of Danbury in Western Fairfield County.

Related: Lawmakers call on Congress, Trump administration to act on gun violence

Murdock will be joined by Sens. Blumenthal and Murphy, plus U.S. Reps. Esty and DeLauro.

The proposed walkout is designed to add more pressure for gun safety reforms in the aftermath of the school shooting on Valentine’s Day that took the lives of 17 in Florida.

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