FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The High School Democrats of Arkansas are calling for action on gun violence. Arkansans are appalled by the recent gun violence and shocked by the lack of reaction to prevent other incidents. High schoolers from across the state are calling for Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman to vote for common sense gun-safety measures that will make us feel safe coming to school, and across the political spectrum we can agree that some people just shouldn’t have access to assault rifles.
Too many innocent lives have been taken for no good reason. As an organization, and as individuals, we cannot, and must not stand for this, or for any policy that upholds the current status quo of guns in the United States and Arkansas.
“My personal experience has taught me the threat of gun violence, in schools and otherwise, is deeply harmful and traumatizing,” said Christina Arendale, Events Director for the High School Democrats of Arkansas and a rising senior at North Little Rock High School. “I was in the third grade, and I remember being in the cafeteria and seeing someone with a gun. All of a sudden, the doors were locked and the lights were out and we were hiding under the tables, crying, not knowing what could come next.”
The High School Democrats of Arkansas believe that the threat of gun violence in the classroom is not normal, and it should not be under any circumstances. Students, teachers, and parents should not have to consider gun violence a possibility when they walk into a school or when they drop their kid off at school. It is a tragedy in and of itself that a student may have to contemplate how to exit a class if a dangerous individual steps foot in their school.
“It shakes me to my core every single time when I see on the news of another school shooting,” said High School Democrats of Arkansas Chair Drew Dillman, a rising senior at Little Rock Catholic High. “I cannot imagine the severe pain and trauma that has occurred as a result of these incidents, but I know that as a person with morals, I must do my part and take action to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.”
The High School Democrats of Arkansas offer our deepest condolences to those in pain, but we know that saying as such without action changes nothing. We need action, and we need it as soon as possible. The High Schools Democrats of Arkansas call on the United States Senate to pass H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 to expand background checks as a first step to protect our fellow students. We also encourage anyone reading this to call Senator Boozman and Senator Cotton and tell them to pass this vital legislation as soon as possible.
The High School Democrats of Arkansas stand on the side of our fellow classmates, on the side of students. Enough is enough. There is no time to wait for action to end this senseless violence against people, especially students and teachers.
The High School Democrats are an auxiliary group of the Young Democrats of Arkansas, the organization representing young people under the age of 36 in the Democratic Party of Arkansas. The High School caucus has chapters across the state, and is led by Little Rock Catholic High Senior Drew Dillman.