Indian American Democrats call for gun control on ‘National Walkout Day’

East Lansing High School students protesting against gun violence on the National School Walkout Day
East Lansing High School students protesting against gun violence on the National School Walkout Day on March 14. Image via Twitter

On the National Walkout Day Wednesday, when tens of thousands of students across the country voluntarily left their classrooms to rally against gun violence, Indian American Democrats, among them federal and lawmakers, officeholders and congressional candidates, nationwide extended their support to the young activists.

Reports from various parts of the country indicated that more than 200,000 students walked out of the class rooms across the country on March 14 to demand gun-control measures. The protests were also to honor the 17 lives lost exactly one month ago in Parkland, Florida, when a gunman entered a school campus and fired shots. The mass walkout saw children from elementary schools to high schools protest against gun violence.

All four Indian American members of Congress extended their support to the students via social media.

Rep. Pramila Jayapa, D-WA, wrote in a tweet, “From Washington to Washington, I will fight alongside these kids to #EndGunViolence.” Jayapal added: “Sending support to Chief Sealth International High School students. Thank you for your advocacy to #EndGunViolence. I won’t stop fighting to make sure that kids feel safe at school.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthy, D-IL, tweeted, “Today, my elder son’s school is participating in #NationalWalkoutDay in recognition of the lives lost at Parkland and the need to address gun violence. Here’s my open letter of support to their student body.”

In an open letter in support, he wrote, “The student walkouts being observed at Lincoln Prairie and in schools throughout our country reflect the best of America – our willingness to stand for what we believe in, and our readiness to act when action is needed. You deserve to be kept safe at your school and in your communities. Please know that I will do everything within my power to find legislative solutions to the problem of school shootings.”

Rep. Ami Bera, D-CA, said, “We need commonsense measures to prevent gun violence because kids deserve to be safe at school. I’m inspired by students across the country and hopeful their actions will spark the overdue change we need.”

Bera’s Democratic colleague from the California congressional delegation Rep. Ro Khanna and Sen. Kamala Harris also expressed their solidarity with the students.

Khanna tweeted, “One day, these images of bravery and defiance will be in history books. They will tell the story of how young people across America rose up against special interests to finally pass gun safety reform.”

Harris tweeted, “Now is the time to listen to these young people and pass commonsense gun safety laws in our country. I don’t know what we’re waiting for. We’ve had enough tragedies and we have great ideas. We just need Congress to act.

Democratic state lawmakers also lauded the students. Maryland Del Aruna Miller, who is running for Congress from the state’s 6th congressional district, wrote, “Today, I stand with students in Maryland and across the country who are standing up, walking out, and demanding action from Congress on gun violence prevention.”

Also tweeting in support for the student rallies were Washington state Rep. Vandana Slatter and Michigan statehouse Democratic Leader Sam Singh.

Singh posted a photo of protesting East Lansing High School students on his twitter handle.

Another congressional candidate, Arizona’s Hiral Tipirneni, tweeted, “The young folks have it right – gun violence is a public health issue & must be treated as such. When I’m elected, I’ll work to repeal the Dickey Amendment so the CDC can study firearm violence & allow evidence-based research to guide commonsense solutions.”

Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Singh Bhalla tweeted, “Proud to be a part of such a special moment in @CityofHoboken When policies in Washington are antithetical to the will of the community, WE the people must make our voices heard.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, the first Indian American legislator of North Carolina, moderated a live student panel to discuss about gun violence and student safety on the National School Walkout Day.

The discussion that was streamed live on Facebook Live and Twitter Periscope on Wednesday, March 14t, was co-hosted by Wake County PTA Council and Moms Demand Action.

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