In the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting tragedy, the Marie Newman For Congress campaign was inspired by the strong activism of the Parkland students and decided to create a discussion forum for high school students in the 3rd Congressional District to discuss the urgency and need for gun safety legislation to reduce gun violence, especially mass school shootings.
Last Friday, February 23rd, Newman and the students from schools such as Lyons Township, Mother McAuley, Stagg and Oak Lawn High School, came together in Oak Lawn at Fox’s Pizza.
After hearing the thoughts and ideas of the students, Newman came away impressed, posting a message on social media that defended the entire generation based on this experience. These kids are smart, thoughtful, curious, and passionate. Even the kids who might naturally be on the shy side speak up when they have an opinion that needs to be shared.
School shootings are hard to relate to for previous generations that never encountered such unexplainable violence. In her statement, Newman noted that this generation of students is the only one that has grown up with school shooter drills. Newman said that the students are “…speaking out because they know we can do better; we should have already done better for them.”
Newman said that the students don’t believe that members of Congress should be taking money from the National Rifle Association. Newman vowed that she will never take a penny from the NRA and said she will fight tirelessly to reinstate the assault weapons ban. She said that whether she wins the election of not, she will be fighting for “common sense gun laws.”
Newman is the former spokesperson for Moms Demand Action Illinois. Her campaign has noted that she shares the priorities of the local communities throughout the Third District and shares the urgency to address gun violence.
Newman said her goal is to support young people to create change and drive gun violence solutions. She wishes to hear from them, learn from them, and work with them on solutions. Marie Newman said she held the event because she wanted to hear directly from students. “Throughout history, this country is at its strongest when we hear from young people and drive change by working with them,” Newman said.
At our discussion forum today, one student mentioned how a freshman at her school asked her, because she is a senior, where the best place to hide in the school would be if a shooter started firing. The freshman asked because she figured the senior would have more knowledge on that topic, like we might have asked where a classroom was or where a club’s meeting spot was back when we were in high school. Newman noted in her social media post, “That’s not right.”