I’m writing this because I’m mad.
On Tuesday morning at 10am, a group of us in the Clarke community stood outside in the 30 degree weather. I was surrounded by students, professors, staff, BVMs, and even local Dubuquers. I should feel a sense of happiness to see this group standing up. But I’m not. I’m mad.
I’m angry that this has to happen. I’m angry with myself that there are students my age and younger in fresh plots of grave and I am here complaining about the cold. I’m mad at you, the gunman. How could you?
I’m mad at those who won’t listen to us. I’m pissed at the people who won’t take a call to action. I’m angry that the crowd who showed up on campus was so small.
I’m mad because there have been 14 school shootings this year and it’s only March (CNN).
I’m done just “keeping the victims and families in my thoughts and prayers.” We need action. We need change now. This can’t keep happening.
You may be wondering, why did I even attend the Walkout if I’m so upset about needing one in the first place?
That’s exactly why I’m here. I can’t keep letting this get pushed into the nooks and crannies of my brain, feeling sad for a day and then moving on. Did the victims get to move on?
I’m saddened that there were so few who joined this powerful moment, today. I know it’s cold. I know it’s midterms and we are overwhelmed and busy. I know we don’t have time to give. That’s the point. We don’t have the time, we have things to do, but we pause. We walk out anyway. We take a stand. I want my voice to be heard. I want all of our student voices heard. We are smart, fierce, passionate, and fearless.
I looked around the small crowd and I saw anger, I saw tears, I saw passion, and I saw fear. I hope this leads to something more. I don’t want another shooting to just become a dusted over book, a vague memory of what once was. I don’t want to forget. As one woman in the crowd reminded us, “It wasn’t always like this. It doesn’t have to be like this.” There was silence and then applause and understanding from the crowd.
After the walk out, some of us chose to join in a small group discussion in the Fabiano conference room. We were faced with the questions, “What do you think we should do about gun violence?” and, “How can we prevent gun violence here at Clarke University?”
I had plenty of thoughts, comments, stories, and examples to share. But, I had no answer. We all had great discussions and conversations, shared worries, views, and connected with each other…But, we had no answer. Maybe part of the answer we are looking for is to start talking and listening to each other. We need to take the time to check in with one another; don’t let people get lost in the crowd. We need to listen to others’ stories, concerns, and worries. We all have something to say, so please, listen to us.
By: Megan Kane