By Britnee Reece ’18, station manager for Blazer Radio
Hood College reflects a community, an educational institution, which means we as a student body must have a sense of urgency to keep our family-like environment safe. Our nation’s school systems are no longer a secure and protected environment; mass shootings in the United States have become something that we as a country have become so oddly numb to. “Thoughts and prayers” will not make the changes needed. The mass shooting, which occurred in Florida early February of this year, took place in my home county, Broward County. I knew the high school and I knew people, who had attended there years ago. It truly “hit home” for me. Those students, who had just witnessed friends die and heard gun shots fire in a place they used to feel at home, were strong. They spoke up. They gave me strength. They sparked a movement.
The Hood class of ’18 president emailed the student organization leaders before spring break, asking us to co-sponsor a trip to the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, D.C. It was then that I realized I had to the power to be heard and help make a change for all the students who have suffered, and for the ones who will suffer in the future, if this continues. As a graduating senior, I want to help shed light on the disturbing reality. High school students, who may soon become college students, do not feel comfortable going to school. I believe gun policies in the United States are too flexible, and reflect a time were muskets were used. I think there should be a reasonable background check to obtain a gun in the United States. In my opinion, assault rifles should not be sold in stores, for they are war machines; the classrooms and hallways of buildings full of innocent students should not be a place for war machines.
Six organizations at Hood came together to plan transportation, attend, and become a part of this nationwide movement: Hood Democrats, Queer Student Union (QSU), Feminist Student Union (FSU), Hood Environmental Action Team (HEAT), the Blue and Grey and Blazer Radio. I manage Blazer Radio, where our slogan is “the voice of Hood College,” and I felt inclined to attend. On Saturday, approximately 40 Hood students stood in D.C. all day long with the signs made at a Blazer Radio sponsored event; they protested an issue that demands change. The March had young speakers from Chicago discuss their personal experiences with gun violence. A young man had lost his twin brother to a robber on the street, who shot his twin in the head. As a twin, I couldn’t imagine not being able to say goodbye to the person you spent your entire life growing with. Martin Luther’s young great granddaughter gave a speech and her words were inspiring. Stopping gun violence in schools and communities in America can happen if we recognize that gun violence is a crucial and preventable public health problem. First, we had to let it be known that “Enough is Enough.”
The Hood College Broadcasting Network covered the March for Our Lives in their latest show. Watch now.