After the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, rallies and movements were organized to protest gun violence. Many people know of the ground-breaking March For Our Lives rallies across the world, as well as the in-school walkouts on March 14th. The walkouts were organized to honor the 17 students lost in Florida a month prior, while still primarily protesting America’s gun tolerance. At 10am across the nation, students left their classes in solidarity. However, these walkouts prompted a “counter” movement.
The “Walk Up, Not Out” Movement
The “Walk Up, Not Out” movement is said to “promote kindess rather than gun control hysteria.” It suggests that instead of protesting gun violence and leaving their classes / attending marches, that students should simply be kinder to one another. At the one minute and eight seconds mark of the above video (which was featured on the “walk up” facebook page), it’s stated that “98 percent of attackers experienced or perceived a major loss prior to the attack,” and later goes on to say that “78 percent of attackers had a history of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts prior to their attack,” promoting sympathy towards the criminals who carried out school shootings. The mindset of this movement is extremely unsettling, unaware and frankly disrespectful toward the victims of any sort of gun violence, especially to those of the Parkland shooting, which this movement resulted from.
To claim that school shootings wouldn’t happen had people been nicer to each other is the epitome of victim blaming. It is absolutely saying in so many words to children who lost their lives that it was their fault, and if we “don’t want it to happen again,” that we need to carry out shallow acts of kindness. Gun violence will not be remedied by being nice. Imagine excusing and justifying a mass murder because the killer had been suicidal.
The movement quite literally attempts to shame victims of gun violence because the killer may or may not have been distressed. And even if the murderer had been, it was under no circumstances one of the victim’s faults. “Walk Up” attempts will always be fruitless and futile because the issue is guns, not empathy or manners. Absolutely no solutions will come from this movement because not only does it try shame innocent people, the only logical solution is gun reform.
For more information about Parkland shooting gun violence movements, see here.
Photo: Fibonacci Blue