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“These T-Shirts Could Fit Me”

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Memorial making its rounds through the county outlines those killed in school shootings

A memorial to students killed by gun violence this year is currently on display at Richard Montgomery High School.  PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKA memorial to students killed by gun violence this year is currently on display at Richard Montgomery High School.  PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  As David Williams gazed at the display of T-shirts blowing in the breeze at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, he shook his head and said, “These could be my classmates. These T-shirts could fit me.”

Each of the 258 T-shirts hanging along a fence at the high school depicts one young life that had been cut down so far this year due to gun violence in schools throughout the country.

Williams, a 17-year-old high-school senior, said, “It’s important to demonstrate a point like this. It’s definitely attracting attention.”

The T-shirt exhibit has been making the rounds at the many County high schools and already visited Winston Churchill High School in Potomac and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

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BOE to spend more for safety

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MoCo BOEROCKVILLE — In light of recent shootings at schools in Parkland, Florida and St. Mary’s County, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith said he plans to ask for more funding to increase security at schools.

While officials from the Montgomery County Board of Education said they were already in the process of updating security at schools recent school shootings have made administrators reevaluate school’s security needs.

As County school officials were in the process of reviewing schools’ safety infrastructure, training for staff and violence prevention programs, they said the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County gave them pause.

“One thing we feel that we have to do is, in light of the tragedies Florida and St. Mary’s, go back out to our schools again and do another assessment – a facility assessment – both school facilities as well as non-school facilities,” said Andrew Zuckerman, chief operating officer for Montgomery County Public Schools.

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Hundreds attend Raskin pre-rally

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postersPosters at the Silver Spring Civic Center PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKHundreds of people, ranging in age from those too young to walk to Dr. Anne Riley who described herself as “83 years old and still marching,” packed the Silver Spring Civic Center Saturday morning for pre-rally event prior to the national March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C. 

The event, led by U.S Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), offered attendees a chance to gear up for the day’s march. Those who preregistered and paid $20 left the 90-minute rally and climbed aboard one of more than 25 buses that took them to the march in D.C.

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Don't Shoot!

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Hundreds of thousands show up to encourage increased restrictions on firearms

Mothers across the country showed up in D.C. to protest and demand greater gun control after recent shootings at several schools, including a high school in Maryland. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKMothers across the country showed up in D.C. to protest and demand greater gun control after recent shootings at several schools, including a high school in Maryland. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hundreds of thousands of students made their voices heard in the nation’s capital Saturday to demand action on gun control from the nation’s policymakers, in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14.

“We stand at a moment when our nation’s laws are guided not by what is right or wrong, not by what is morally sound for the many, but is instead limited by the insatiable greed of a few,” said Matt Post, one of the speakers at the event and student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “In their greed, the gun lobby and their politicians have tried to deflect and distract us, they’ve tried to twist what is so clearly a gun issue into anything else but we won’t fall for it.”

Hundreds of thousands of attendees – which included both students and adults – urged that their elected officials take legislative steps in an effort to curb mass shootings.

“Use efficient regulation that doesn’t make any exception, close the cracks and loopholes with thorough background checks and psychological evaluation, protect our schools like we do our other government establishments, use security protocol methods that are efficient, and one more request: listen,” said Sam Fuentes, a survivor of the Feb 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida., speaking from the stage.

Students traveled to the event from around the region.

“I’m protesting the fact that our government is doing nothing to help keep us safe and help us feel safe, it’s not fair,” said 14-year-old Emma Goodman from Silver Spring. “I’m proud of my generation because we’re speaking up … a lot of us are too young to vote but we’re still making a difference.”

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Rex Tillerson actually got this one right

MC DC NRAs Solution to EverythingAdmittedly, I was not a fan of naming the head of Exxon-Mobil as the head of the State Department, but I must give credit where credit is due. Rex Tillerson was exactly right when he described the current occupant of the Oval Office as a moron. The president proves the accuracy of that assessment on an almost daily, if not hourly, basis but no example is better than his current cure-all for eliminating gun massacres in schools: arming teachers!
Now, to be quite honest, if I were a teacher in a classroom and there was a shooter with an assault rifle in the hallway firing at will, I would definitely wish I had in my possession a firearm. That goes without saying.
However, simply adding the arming of teachers, as some eight states currently allow, into the broader discussion is not what makes Trump a moron. It is his sincere belief that he just came up with the solution that seemed to have eluded everyone else other than the NRA. The expression on his face when he shared this brainstorm with the survivors of school gun violence is priceless.
The fact that he is incapable of assessing the full range of ramifications of his, in his mind, brilliant solution is truly frightening coming from a sitting president. Not realizing the complexity of the issue and the need to implement a broad range of actions, including fewer guns, to address this epidemic of mass shootings is what truly makes him so unfit for the office he now holds.

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“How much blood?”

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Local high school students join protest at White House demanding gun control 

Local high school students join the protests at the White House Wednesday. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKLocal high school students join the protests at the White House Wednesday.                   PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  Hundreds of County high school students walked out of class at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday en route to the U.S. Capitol, where they rallied in favor of gun control.

After walking to the nearest Metro Station, classmates came together at Union Station to show their outrage against the National Rifle Association and to demand something be done to stop school shootings.

At Montgomery Blair, students said that while school officials did not sanction the protest, they took no action to stop it.

As the students streamed out of the school, Assistant Principal Dirk Cauley addressed them through a megaphone, warning them to follow their police escort and stay on the sidewalks.

Besides Blair, high school students from Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Richard Montgomery, Northwood, Einstein, Wootton, Oneness Family Montessori School in Kensington among others marched up First Street to the Capitol, where they heard short speeches by Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-8th District) and Jen Pauliukonis, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

“It’s ridiculous how they are not making this into a big enough deal,” Blair sophomore Griffith Wacht said. “We are doing this to show them they can’t get away with it,” he said, referring to Congressional inaction concerning gun control.

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When is the right time to talk about guns?

 

nikolas cruz floridaThere have been multiple school shootings in the United States in just the first 45 days of 2018. Of course, there are multiple mass shootings not at schools that have occurred too.
After every mass shooting, politicians hide behind the phrase “it is too soon” to discuss what needs to be done to address this epidemic of mass shootings. “Too soon” buys them time so they don't have to address the problem and risk their A rating from the National Rifle Association.
Oh, and by the way, “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims” does absolutely nothing to address the ongoing threat to every family nor does it do anything to comfort the families of the shooting victims.
In the aftermath of the most recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at which 17 individuals lost their lives, the question is no longer whether it is “too soon” to discuss actions that must be taken; the question is whether “it is too late.”

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