Texas State students hold walkout to protest gun violence

Article and photos by Chris Menchu

Protesters gather around the Fighting Stallions statue. Photo by Chris Menchu

By Chris Menchu

San Marcos, Texas – The Texas State Musical Theatre Program organized a protest calling for gun reform in light of the Parkland, Florida, shooting.

Organized by Brian Corkum, musical theatre senior, and Ana Puig, musical theatre sophomore, the protest was held a day before the nationwide March For Our Lives, March 24.

Puig said she is a supporter of the second amendment, but doesn’t believe access to semi-automatic weapons should be so easy.

“I grew up around firearms, and I completely support the people’s right to bear arms,” Puig said. “But I don’t believe people need high-powered semi-automatic weapons to defend themselves in their homes.”

Over 50 students participated in the protest, showing support for all victims of gun violence.

“It’s incredibly humbling and inspiring to to see so many fiery, passionate people coming out to defend other kids who no longer have voices due to gun violence in their communities and schools,” Puig said. “I think it’s really important to use the voices that we do have to let them know that they’re not alone and that they will have people fighting for their rights.”

Corkum said that their protest was a small part of a much larger movement in our nation.

“This march and the March For Our Lives that is happening tomorrow is a message to the NRA and politicians who are reluctant to change, saying that we will not stand for another mass shooting.”

Around 11 a.m., protesters began marching from the Fighting Stallions to the Hays County Courthouse in downtown San Marcos.

Protesters march down North LBJ Drive towards San Marcos Courthouse. Photo by Chris Menchu

Passersby of the protest honked in support of those protesting.

Robert Kansas, computer science junior, was doubtful that the protest would solve or change anything.

“You actually have to propose something, you can’t just say, ‘it’s bad, let’s end it,’” Kansas said. “I’m looking at these signs and it’s like, what would you propose?”

Although there were several onlookers who didn’t support the cause, Corkum said that their opinion was just as acceptable as his and those protesting.

“We are just so lucky that we live in a country where we have the right to stand up for what we believe in,” Corkum said.

Puig said she thought the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and all other victims of gun violence, would be proud of what she and the rest of those protesting were doing.

“I think they’d be super proud of us,” Puig said. “I think they’re asking for children, teenagers and adults to stand up and fight for change and proper gun reform.

Kids no longer feel safe in their schools, and for what they experienced they’ll be traumatized for the rest of their lives. They’ll never be the same. I think this is our job to fight for change.

Puig said that simply protesting wouldn’t be enough.

“Please, just go out and vote,” Puig said. “Let the kids of this nation know that they are not alone and that there are others willing to fight for them. We can never, ever let this happen again.”

The Texas State Never Again School Walkout was held just hours after the Wimberly High School Walkout.

Puig insisted that students and protesters continue to fight for change and keep the dialogue about this issue ongoing on social media.

The March For Our Lives is set to take place March 24, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to participate in this nationwide protest.

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