Editorial: The Villanovan Calls for Continued Action After the Walk Out


On Wednesday, March 14th, Villanova students, faculty and administrators acted in solidarity with thousands of students across the nation by participating in the National School Walkout against gun violence. The seventeen-minute walkout grieved the seventeen students killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School shooting but also called for continued efforts to alter the political agenda surrounding gun laws. 

The walkout on our campus was an extraordinary event that created a space for political empowerment. However, as with all mobilization efforts, we cannot walk away from the protest believing our job is complete. It is more salient now that we continue to stand together and exercise our political voices to advocate for safer schools. 

Historically, the political response to mass shootings has been to roll back regulations rather than strengthen them. For example, the federal ban on purchasing assault weapons expired in 2003 and has not been renewed. Also, conceal carry laws have been expanded as well as the castle doctrine, which makes it legally harder to place gun death responsibility on individuals. Therefore, we must remain diligent to prevent continued political efforts to roll back regulations after mass shootings. 

In order to continue the momentum surrounding gun regulation after the most recent school shootings in Florida and in Maryland, we must channel our grief and anger into sustained political efforts. For example, participating in organized events, staying informed and contacting your representatives are both easy and effective ways to influence political discourse about gun regulation. However, significant political change can only be achieved through voting. 

The Pennsylvania special election was held on March 13th, the day before the national school walkout. The election resulted in a democratic win and demonstrated a significant leftward shift from the 2016 Presidential election. Based on this result, the current composition of congress can be significantly impacted by voters. We simply have to actually use our civic rights and vote.