Parkland shooting brings students together to fight gun violence

By Kristin McKee
Torch Correspondent

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CCPA Brass Ensemble performs “Lux Aurumque.” Photo by Kristin McKee

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen victims have been confirmed dead as a result. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, the incident has been marked as the 18th incident where a gun was discharged on a school campus this year, and fifth where there were injuries and fatalities.

To honor the seventeen victims who lost their lives in this tragic event, The Center for Arts Leadership in Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts held a brief gathering of students in the Fainman Lounge on Friday, Feb. 16. The CCPA Center for Arts Leadership is a department that instructs future artistic leaders on Roosevelt’s central notions such as citizenship, imaginative and creative leadership and moral principles.

The gathering began with a reading of the names of the seventeen victims. Following the reading, the CCPA Brass Ensemble performed Eric Whitacre’s composition of “Lux Aurumque” conducted by professor Stephen Squires. “Lux Aurumque,” which translates to “Light and Gold,” is based on the English poem by Edward Esche that was later translated to Latin for the composition. Immediately after the performance, the gathering closed with a moment of silence.

The purpose of the gathering was not only to honor the victims, but to also stand against senseless violence. In the wake of this tragedy, debates about gun control have sparked. Many are calling for lawmakers to finally take action on gun violence that prevents a situation like this from happening again.

David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was interviewed by CNN where he called for lawmakers to make a change.

“Please take action. Ideas are great, ideas are wonderful, and they help you get re-elected and everything, but what’s more important is actual action,” Hogg said.

“Please, this is the 18th [shooting] this year — that’s unacceptable.”

Hogg is a student journalist at the school and decided to capture video of himself interviewing other students about their opinions of gun control.

One student said, “If you looked around this closet and saw everyone just hiding together, you would know that this shouldn’t be happening anymore, and that it doesn’t deserve to happen to anyone, and that no amount of money should make it more easily accessible to get guns.”

Another student Hogg interviewed said, “…To have the bullet pointed at me – at my school, my classmates, my teachers, my mentors – it’s just it’s definitely eye-opening to the fact that we need more gun control in our country.”

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