Waed Alhayek writes on a dry-erase board during a meeting with student organizers of the March for Life Dallas. Photo by Chloe Young.

Local News

Dallas Area Students Will March for Their Lives

Young people throughout North Texas are joining a national student movement pushing for gun control in the wake of a school shooting in Florida last month.

As a high school student in Frisco, I’ve never had much reason to feel unsafe. The anxieties students like myself most often face should include making it to class on time, or somehow passing that test we failed to study for. A new issue, however, has forced itself to the forefront of our minds. It’s the question of whether we’re safe at school.

It’s no news that mass shootings have become an all too common fact of American life. Schools haven’t been spared from these acts of gun violence, which follow a familiar cycle of shock and heartbreak. But increasingly students, fed up with thoughts and prayers and little else, are calling for action.

Following the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, many of the students of Stoneman Douglas High School have shown the country that, despite their age, students can be a fierce and influential political voice, especially when it comes to the topic of their safety. Now, young people across the country have channeled their efforts into a tangible movement for change, introducing a student-led demonstration for stronger gun laws and safer schools, the March for Our Lives.

On Saturday, young people in more than 800 cities worldwide will take to the streets to rally for gun control. North Texas students are bringing the effort here, with a rally and march planned for 1 p.m. that day, beginning at Dallas City Hall.

Over the past month, students from high schools and colleges across North Texas have banded together to organize the Dallas march, with the help of gun control organizations such as Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety.

Students will be marching in support of three specific policies: a ban on bump stocks, increased regulation of high capacity magazines, and the institution of universal background checks. However, the Dallas branch has strategically chosen not to call for a ban on the sale of AR-15 assault rifles—one of the policies supported by others calling for reform of gun laws.

“We’re not trying to take away people’s Second Amendment [rights]. We believe in the right to bear arms but also believe in the right for people to have a life,” says student activist and march organizer Waed Alhayek . “This is just the beginning. These are our three policies that we’re trying to push for, because we don’t want to take away your guns. We just want to regulate, making sure people feel safe.”

High school and college students meet to plan for the March for Our Lives Dallas. Photo by Chloe Young.

Like millions of students, Alhayek was deeply touched and inspired by the boldness of students at Stoneman Douglas and felt compelled to take action.

“For the longest time, we’ve seen mass shootings happen in different places: at concerts, at homes, and public areas. But when it hits a school, that’s when it really starts shaking people up, because you go to school to get an education…” Alhayek says. “Once that’s taken away from you, once fear gets instilled in students, that’s when it becomes really scary. If I’m not even safe at my own school, where am I safe?”

Student organizers hope that the march brings awareness to many young people’s support of increased  gun control, while encouraging action among all age groups. “My hope is really to get people to speak up and to really get involved…Go to the polls. Start voting, because local elections are insanely important, and they affect everybody,” Alhayek says.

“If I’m not even safe at my own school, where am I safe?”

Despite being student-led, people of all ages are encouraged to attend, says Matt Tranchin, a community organizer and an adviser to the March for Our Lives in Dallas. (Full disclosure: Tranchin is also the executive director of Coalition for a New Dallas, the political action committee launched by D Magazine founder and publisher Wick Allison. March for Our Lives-Dallas organizers have met at the D Magazine offices.)

“One of the asks is to have parents, teachers, and mentors wearing red and lining the march path, as the guardians of this march,” Tranchin says. “This is led by students, but the real need is to show the support and symbolic role of protecting and encouraging the students to do what they do.”

Students know that putting a stop to every gun violence tragedy is an impossible task. We also know that we must take steps to try.

“No more waiting for someone else to speak up,” Alhayek says. “It’s your time to start speaking up, to start speaking up for what you believe in.”

 

Editor’s note: Chloe Young is a high school student in a mentorship program that has her learning from editors at D Magazine.

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Comments

  • JamieT

    “However, the Dallas branch has strategically chosen not to call for a ban on the sale of AR-15 assault rifles…”

    Chloe, when you refer to the “sale of AR-15 assault rifles” (you already know the AR stands for the Armalite Corporation which developed the platform, not assault rifle, right? Many other people your age do.) you betray an ignorance which can easily poison everything else you write (“Oh, that was written by Chloe Young. Remember that FrontBurner piece? She doesn’t do her homework on what she writes about.”).

    Let me explain.

    The AR-15 platform – the correct term is “modern sporting rifle” – fires only in semiautomatic mode – one trigger press, one shot – as do many other sporting long guns and handguns.

    If you try to assault a military target with a semiautomatic like an AR-15, you will likely die, because your foe, armed with true military assault rifles like the M4, HK416, AK-47 and others, will have already ventilated you with 3-round and fully automatic bursts before your third or fourth trigger press.

    So you decide. Certainly “AR-15 assault rifles” will likely get you many more “likes” among your high school peers, and that’s important, right? As for your future career bona fides, best of luck in whatever you choose.

    A bonus tip: guns, designed to do nothing other than to hurl a dense mass at many hundreds of feet per second, have no other purpose at all other than to generate violence at their point of aim – hence the cardinal rule of firearms “Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to destroy” – so the opaque, neo-Orwellian oxymoron “gun violence” can then only have some other purpose than to usefully describe something real in the world. You decide how to best deploy such a suggestive-only, means-anything-everything-nothing device in your work.

    Again, best of luck in whatever you attempt in life.

    • @zaccrain

      idk if you punched someone that would also be violence so maybe it’s ok to distinguish. but you’d know better so

      • JamieT

        Except that in the real world the phrase “gun violence” is never, ever actually used in the way you are proposing above that it could be, i.e., to make crystal clear to the reader that the otherwise generic “violence” he had heard occurred and was desperately concerned about (“Jim! Violence occurred!” “What kind, exactly?”) was caused by a gun and not by a punch or a crazed flying squirrel.

        In point of fact this relatively recent revision in usage from the previously used neutral “shooting” arose on the left as a way to syllogistically marry guns with violence in people’s reflexive thinking to the end of making thinking of guns equivalent to thinking of badness via the suggestion that guns cause violence simply by existing: guns=violence; violence=bad; guns=bad.

        Curiously, one doesn’t see similar putatively useful distinctions of the sort you are recommending adopted as standard usage with respect to such phenomena as Anfita activities (“leftist violence”) or riots such as those that recently occurred in Ferguson, MO (“African-American violence”).

        So, again, any ostensibly legitimate coupling of “gun violence” would either be false (guns alone don’t cause violence, only humans using guns cause violence) or oxymoronic, as in referring to a glass of “wet water”.

        • @zaccrain

          ‘guns, designed to do nothing other than to hurl a dense mass at many hundreds of feet per second, have no other purpose at all other than to generate violence at their point of aim’

          ok

  • Schools shootings are not common. Stop the hysteria.

    Opiates kill FAR more high schoolers than guns. Let’s ban opiates.

    Oh, right, we already DID. Turns out that doesn’t work.

    I’m not interested in the political opinions of someone who hasn’t even managed to graduate high school yet. You don’t have enough experience to have any wisdom worth mentioning.

    • @zaccrain

      then don’t read it. easy fix. super easy fix. maybe the easiest fix.

      • D Magazine — we publish people our editors say aren’t worth reading!

        • @zaccrain

          nice try. you said you weren’t interested. so don’t. not everything here is for everyone.

          • I wish you the best of luck with your “don’t read our magazine” business plan.

          • @zaccrain

            you can keep saying it but that doesn’t make it true. this is one section of our website, by the way.

          • Can we can editor for the editor?

          • @zaccrain

            can we what?

          • PeterTx52

            I suspect that Phelps forgot the article “an” as in Can we can an editor?

      • PeterTx52

        so you’re okay with publishing inaccurate information?

        • @zaccrain

          what part

    • Krista Nightengale

      “I’m not interested in the political opinions of someone who hasn’t even managed to graduate high school yet. You don’t have enough experience to have any wisdom worth mentioning.”
      That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. And I’m on Twitter.

      • Read more.

        • Krista Nightengale

          Think more.

          • If you really thought that my thinking was weak, the way to improve it would be to read more things written by better thinkers.

            You would be aware of this if you read more.

          • @zaccrain

            that looks like it makes sense but it doesn’t

          • Perhaps you should read more, rather than telling people not to read things.

          • @zaccrain

            everyone should read more. and they should read things they disagree with or aren’t interested in. you can keep rehearsing your dinner theater version of fahrenheit 451 though.

          • I came here, read the article, disagreed with it, and your reply was:

            “then don’t read it. easy fix.” [sic] and “you said you weren’t interested. so don’t.” [sic]

            Now you say:

            “everyone should read more. and they should read things they disagree with or aren’t interested in.” [sic]

            Do you see why I think that your thinking is weaker than it could be?

          • @zaccrain

            if you had stopped your reply at the opiates argument, that would have been fine. that was disagreement. the high school stuff was not.

          • The first words in the article are, “As a high school student.” The entire article is predicated on the idea that being in high school gives the author some sort of authority on the subject.

          • @zaccrain

            yes, she is an authority on being a high school student, since she is, which is what the article is about:

            SUBHEAD: “Young people throughout North Texas are joining a national student movement pushing for gun control in the wake of a school shooting in Florida last month.”

          • And support for gun control POLICY is a political opinion. The political opinions of high schoolers are, as a matter of public policy, not worth consideration. That is why the voting age is limited to the age of majority, which most high schoolers have not reached.

            I’m starting to wonder if YOU have read the article. Were you projecting when you said not to read it if it didn’t interest me?

          • @zaccrain

            you are spending a lot of time on something that does not interest you and is not worth consideration.

          • The subject interests me. The original author’s opinions do not.

          • @zaccrain

            well then I’m sorry those two sentences at the end got in your way.

          • At the beginning.

            In the end, it’s the Editors to blame.

          • @zaccrain

            hm.

          • JamieT

            David Hogg and Emma Gonzales were unavailable as fronts. No FrontBurner editor felt it was necessary to alter the “AR-15 assault rifles” phrase I corrected Chloe about.

            However this post is received, it will fall on her head, not on Wick’s and his Coalition for a New Dallas. Young people can be so useful.

          • @zaccrain

            coalition has nothing to do with this other than matt works for it, too.

            your correction was noted.

          • Well, you know, this is supposed to be about “gun violence,” which was and still is primarily young black men shooting young black men. That never was (and still doesn’t appear to be) a concern for HS kids in Frisco, but as soon as someone shoots up a rich white school in FL with a significant jewish enrollment, there’s nationwide marches.

            Shows you what priorities the people leading these kids have.

          • @zaccrain

            finally

          • Frisco Lives Matter

          • Winde Marshall

            You’re dang right, they do!!

          • And further to the racial angle, here’s Hogg complaining about having to wear IDs and carry clear backpacks when they return from spring break — which are policies that people who went to poorer, more diverse schools (like me) have had to live with since the last century.

          • JamieT

            As long as you are attempting to discuss racial diversity with the virtue-signalling but, curiously, enduringly all-white, all-European-American crew of FrontBurner, you might also ask who the young Muslim woman is in the uncredited, unsourced photo carefully selected to top this piece.

            What is her name? In what Frisco school is she writing on the blackboard? It would be, of course, pointlessly cruel to ask if she, too, would like a spot writing for FrontBurner, but perhaps we could ask if she will be marching Saturday as well.

          • PeterTx52

            you must have missed the caption
            Waed Alhayek writes on a dry-erase board during a meeting with
            student organizers of the March for Life Dallas. Photo by Chloe Young.

          • JamieT

            No, the cached copy of the site shows that it was only added after I made my comment.

          • PeterTx52
          • I’m not arguing for or against clear backpacks. I’m pointing out the hypocrisy of rich white kids campaigning for tyrannical gun control while complaining about gun control measures that poor black kids had been living with for over 20 years.

          • Joey Ingram

            because columbine wasn’t a wake up call for you dumb ass baby boomers

            just a reminder i’m paying for you social security so be careful

          • Not a boomer. I suspect I was much closer to Columbine than you.

            You’re not paying for my social security because it will be gone by the time I could collect it.

          • Joey Ingram

            you should be more worried then being butt hurt about gun restrictions

          • JamieT

            “Well, you know, this is supposed to be about ‘gun violence,’…”

            Again, because every discharge of a firearm – through a paper target, splashing into a backstop, spalling metal from a steel plate, rupturing a melon, causing a Tannerite target to detonate, murdering another human being – causes violence, as Zac acknowledged above quoting me initially, when someone uses this new, reductionistic term and says they are against “gun violence”, they are saying in no uncertain terms that they consider all gun violence indiscriminately similar enough to be collected within that one phrase, and if they then continue to say they are “against gun violence”, they are then proceeding equally in no uncertain terms to inform you they are indiscriminately against the use of firearms, period.

            And the only way to prevent the use of firearms is to prevent their possession.

            That’s what they say, that’s what they mean, and that’s what they want.

          • Winde Marshall

            Wow! You could make a fortune as a mind-reader, Kreskin!

            Seriously, don’t put words into people’s mouths. If you’re quoting someone, fine. Otherwise, you really don’t know what they’re thinking. And this “we/they” culture we’re living in is tearing this country apart.

          • Winde Marshall

            What exactly did she say that made you think she doesn’t care about gun violence against African-Americans? I missed that part.

          • Patrick Blaydes

            You’re right. High Schoolers should know their place. Just shut up, go to school, get shot at, and don’t complain about it. They’re not old enough to have opinions about whether getting shot is good or bad. Leave that to us grown ups.

          • The grown ups have already decided that shooting them is bad. We decided that thousands of years ago, when the law was “thou shalt not murder.”

            Otherwise, yes.

          • Joey Ingram

            Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1Tim. 4:12

            If you use the bible to support your ignorent beliefs then read the whole thing and not just the ten commandments.

          • St. Timothy was not a child when St. Paul wrote that epistle to him.

            Deliberately quoting the bible out of context is one of the greatest sins for a Christian. You should have kept reading past what your google search turned up, and read 1 Timothy 5:1, and keep going to Galatians 4:1-2.

          • Joey Ingram

            do you think supporting weapons for mass murder of children is something jesus would do?

            Thou shall kill children in large numbers
            2 Philadelphia 3:00

          • Do you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, the only begotten son of God? Because I don’t argue what Jesus would do with people who have rejected his Word, and I don’t accept Philadelphia as part of the canon.

          • Winde Marshall

            I would never judge whether a person is a Christian or not, as God, alone, is our judge. However, when speaking of men of God, the Bible says, “By their fruit you will know them.” Based on your frequent Bible references, I’m sure you’re familiar with the “fruits of the spirit,” yes? Love, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control, to list a few. I gotta say that those are not words that came to mind when reading your posts to a journalistic novice, who’d never harmed you in any way. You remember the old hymn “They’ll know we are Christians by our love”? I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t state your opinion. But if you truly are the Christian you so boldly claim to be, to quote The Word,, please “speak the truth in love.”

          • Winde Marshall

            Likewise, Chloe is not a child. She is 17 and 1/2 years old and will be voting in the fall. So, I strongly disagree with your assertions that her political opinions do not matter. They matter very much, and BTW, are every bit as valid as yours.

          • Winde Marshall

            Thank you for writing such a thoughtful, wise post. Chloe will need to lean on this verse if she is to survive the trolls of this “vast wasteland” that is the new social media.

          • Winde Marshall

            But the grown ups are not doing enough to stop it. That’s why the kids feel like they need to do it for us. We should be ashamed that we have not protected them more fiercely.

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Our Founding Fathers did not create this nation as an opinion, but reduced to an undeniable self evident truth. As victors over tyranny, they rejected to speak from a high podium of, by, and for officials to instead walk out into the congregation to, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently expressed of their performance, to sit of, by, and for the people.

          • PeterTx52

            the problem is that the walkout last week and this protest on Saturday are the result of various anti-gun groups taking over what the Parkland students started. and D Magazine is supporting the anti-gun movement. if you were really for reducing “gun violence” then you would be pushing for enforcement of the laws we currently have on the books. were you aware that the federal government doesn’t prosecute straw gun buyer cases? or that the Obama administration reduced the number of gun prosecution cases?
            http://thefederalist.com/2018/03/01/take-two-weeks-truth-emerge-parkland-students-astroturfing/
            https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/15/firearm-offense-convictions-declined-under-obama-s/
            https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/how-the-obama-administration-made-it-easier-for-criminals-to-get-guns

          • JamieT

            “…D Magazine is supporting the anti-gun movement.”

            You are correct. As the Dallas Morning News

            https://www.dallasnews.com/news/photos/2018/03/24/photos-thousands-rally-gun-control-downtown-dallas-part-ofthe-march-lives-protest

            “Waed Alhayek, 19, a student at UT-Arlington, addresses the rally at City Hall.”

            now informs us, the here previously unidentified until I pointedly inquired about her Ms. Alhayek prominently heading this post is not even a high school student at all but rather an adult ant-gun activist leading the local event.

            When they not being trolled by bored FrontBurner staff as well, FrontBurner posts are as genuine as Elizabeth Lavin’s carefully choreographed and stage-managed food porn photographs.

            It’s just a shame that in this case they had to pimp out a high school student like Ms. Young to stage their dissembling charade behind, despoiling her good name in the process.

          • @zaccrain

            1) she’s 19, not exactly a grizzled vet. but ok.
            2) I’m never bored.
            3) lavin doesn’t really do a lot of our food photography, but she is good at it when she does.
            4) don’t love your use of ‘pimp out’ in regards to a high schooler, but ok.
            5) hm.

          • Winde Marshall

            Well, I don’t agree with much of what you’ve said, but as someone who is close to Miss Young, I appreciate you for standing up for her. She was given an assignment to write a story about these demonstrations and she did it to the best of her ability. Frankly, I think she did just fine. Do you know how many times I’ve heard national news anchors say the words “AK15 assault rifle”??? Just sayin.’

          • RompingWillyBilly

            I would say it is only some that work for D-magazine. Most of us can’t rise above thinking in faulty dichotomies with these being the typical black versus white, young versus old, rich against poor, hetero versus homo, and so on.
            Yuri Bezmenov the former KGB who once worked for the Soviet press said it best. If you want to usurp someone of their authority and keep them subverted, don’t hire the truly intelligent, but those that can lie to your face and look intelligent. Our media today is loaded down with those types of “useful idiots.”

          • JamieT

            Don’t sweat it. This is all just more of Zac’s game with Tim and the other posters (“Holland, I read your post.”, etc.) concerning whether FrontBurner should simply drop comments and their associated overhead entirely.

          • @zaccrain

            i’ve stopped doing that bit. onto something else now.

  • PeterTx52

    be glad you weren’t living in Chicago during 2016 there were 4300 shooting victims and over 750 homicides. I don’t remember anyone marching for those people
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-violence-2016-met-20161229-story.html

  • RompingWillyBilly

    This nation is at war. While the media has an agenda to both ignore this conflict and to perceive it as crime, certain terrorist leaders of color have rallied their people to battle. The result is that our police are now under attack. Meanwhile, these terrorists of color are threatening our God given American Civil Purpose. On a daily basis, these terrorists of color think nothing of committing serious offenses like grand theft auto, murder, burglary, and robbery.

    • @zaccrain

      man, just say it already.

      • RompingWillyBilly

        To demonstrate to the Greek people (Athens) that the people ruling over them were cheating them by being deceptive, the ancient philosophers had to operate subversively below the conscience. Indeed, while the sophisticated spoke in definitive terms and in proper sentences, they were still being dishonest. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle revealed their dishonesty by creating truth engines. They sequenced sentences to both create inductive and deductive reasoning.
        I could demonstrate to you both inductively and deductively that the leaders of color in this nation are being deceptive just as the terrorist leaders are over in the middle east.
        That is as good as the truth gets.

      • RompingWillyBilly

        Okay, I will say it. The people of color today in the United States are being misled. Rather than they be of, by, and for the people, they are working of, by, and for the officials (tyrrany).

        As suffering doesn’t possess a black face today, metaphorically speaking, so are the people of color today being utilized by tyranny to cheat the people if their hard fought civil purpose.