Dozens of Harlem High School students walked out of class on Wednesday. Their goal? To convince Congress to take action on gun control following last week’s mass shooting at a Florida high school.
“I decided to walk out because I think we need a change. I’m not exactly sure what change: some people say more gun restrictions, some people say less. I just think we need to have a talk about it to see what’s best for whatever’s going on,” said Harlem junior Michael Wilson.
Pressure from nationwide walkouts, like the one at Harlem, including a protest by students who lay in front of the White House on Wednesday, are pressuring politicians to act.
Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) says he’s willing to help.
“I put out a letter to the Justice Department to try and ban these bump stocks that were used in the [Las] Vegas shooting. that’s something that I think should obviously go forward,” said Kinzinger. “I think we need a real discussion of how someone can buy an AR-15 at 18-years-old when you have to be 21 to buy a hand gun.”
Kinzinger says he does not support an all-out assault weapons ban as some have called for. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) hasn’t publicly supported a ban either, but is a co-sponsor of legislation that calls for criminal background checks, and also a sponsor of “no fly, no buy.”
“Believe it or not, a person can be on a terrorist watch list and not be allowed to fly, but can still go into any store and legally buy a weapon,” said Bustos. “I think it’s pretty common sense that that shouldn’t be allowed.”
Harlem students that participated in Wednesday’s walkout say they’ll support whatever it takes to stop deadly school shootings.