Tag Archives: gun violence

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham High School students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am EST; one minute for each student shot and killed last month in a Parkland, Florida, H.S. It was part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with student shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence.

Bellmore-Merrick Students Walkout to Protest Gun Violence: Déjà Vu

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
March 14, 2018

Today, over a hundred Wellington C. Mepham High School students walked out of class from 10:00 to 10:17 AM, one month after a teen used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H. S. in Parkland, FLA.  

  • Click each photo for larger version – SLIDESHOW link also at end
North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a Parkland, Florida, H.S. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

2018 NATIONAL STUDENT WALKOUT: 17 MINUTES

Mepham’s walkout was part of a nationwide protest to show solidarity with student shooting victims, and to demand U.S. lawmakers enact regulations and laws to reduce gun violence.

By 9:45 AM, several Nassau County patrol cars were parked on Camp Avenue in front of Mepham. School administration had requested police “just in case.” But neither the officers nor the school security guard, standing a distance from the walkout, needed to interact with protestors.

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Several adults drove or walked to Mepham and stopped to look at the protest held at the west side of the school building. The most visible focal point from the street was four students standing on a bench and holding up big handmade protest signs. 

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham to watch students walkout to protest gun violence.

[Photo digitally altered to remove color from car/driver] North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham H. S. to watch students walkout to protest gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, stopped her car in front of Mepham to watch the protest. When asked why she was there this morning, Photiou said:

“I wanted to see the kids. I wanted to see our future. That’s why I came.
“We have to do this. We have to support them. Absolutely.”

Midway through the walkout, a car with a man and woman in it stopped in front of the school. The driver said they’d come from the student walkout at Calhoun High School – which, like Mepham, is in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. Smiling, she added there were so many students protesting outside Calhoun it looked like the whole school was participating in the walkout.

Déjà Vu:  VIETNAM WAR 50 YEARS AGO

The Vietnam War started not long after after I was born. By the late 1960’s, protests, notably including student protests, were helping turn public opinion against having American troops in Vietnam, which significantly helped lead to the withdrawal of our last troops by 1973.

I first began to understand the cost of the Vietnam War in 1968 when I was a junior at Calhoun High School. A military draft seemed guaranteed in the near future (in fact, the 1st draft lottery for Vietnam War was held Sept. 1969), and one of my closest friends, Tom, a senior, waited anxiously to find out if he was accepted into a military band, considered a safer assignment than the alternative. My senior year, a small but earnest group of students held a walkout to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. And in Calhoun’s Main Lobby, the plaque commemorating graduates who died serving in Vietnam had even more brass nameplates than expected for a school our size.

When I was an undergraduate student at SUNY New Paltz, Vietnam War protests were an inescapable part of life on campus, starting with the protest songs during Orientation Week concerts, just weeks after and 50 miles away from the Woodstock festival…  including a sit-in at the Administration Building around the time of the Kent State massacre, May 1970…  and continuing until our troops totally left Vietnam, shortly before I graduated.

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S.  students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Properly motivated lawmakers – who replaced incumbents, when necessary – can pass regulations and laws that both keep Second Amendment rights intact and also help significantly reduce the amount of gun violence, which is significantly, outrageously worse here than in other countries.

Today’s National Student Walkout to Protest Gun Violence is a hopeful step in the right direction. On March 24th there’s the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC, and local communities. After that it’s time for the next steps.  

#ENOUGH  Protect Kids Not Guns  #NeverAgain 

Mepham Students Walkout:  SLIDESHOW  |  GALLERY

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Hillary Clinton Panel on Gun Violence Prevention, Port Washington

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 13, 2016

This Monday, HILLARY CLINTON and moderator Rep. STEVE ISRAEL held a discussion on gun violence prevention, to a full house at the Landmark Theater in Port Washington. The panel included five women who each lost a relative to gun violence.

Port Washington, New York, USA. April 11, 2016. HILLARY CLINTON, Democratic presidential primary candidate, has a discussion on gun violence prevention with Rep. STEVE ISRAEL and activists who lost family members due to shootings: (L-R) RITA KESTENBAUM who lost her daughter Carol at Arizona State University; MARIE DELUS who lost her nephew Pierre-Paul Jean-Paul in Queens; ERICA LAFFERTY SMEGIELSKI who lost her mother Dawn Lafferty Hochsprungand the Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal in Newtown CT; NATASHA CHRISTOPHER who lost her 15-year-old son Akeal in Brooklyn; and SANDY PHILLIPS who lost her daughter Jessica Ghawi in Aurora, Colorado theater shooting. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Port Washington, NY, USA. April 11, 2016. HILLARY CLINTON, Democratic presidential primary candidate, and Rep. STEVE ISRAEL have panel discussion with 5 activists on gun violence prevention. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

One by one, the five activists shared – relived – their stories of loss and how they became gun control activists.

Port Washington, New York, USA. April 11, 2016. ERICA LAFFERTY SMEGIELSKI, who lost her mother Dawn Lafferty Hochsprungand, the Principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, has serious expression as she shares her personal story of loss of a loved one due to gun violence, during a discussion with Hillary Clinton and other activists on gun violence prevention. HILLARY CLINTON, the leading Democratic presidential primary candidate, called for stricter gun control legislation. Clinton had several Long Island events scheduled this day, and the New York presidential primary is April 19. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Port Washington, NY, USA. April 11, 2016. ERICA SMEGIELSKI, who lost her mother Dawn Lafferty Hochsprungand, the Principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, is a panelist on gun violence prevention discussion. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

RITA KESTENBAUM lost her daughter Carol shot at Arizona State University.

MARIE DELUS lost her nephew Pierre-Paul Jean-Paul shot in Queens, NY. 

ERICA SMEGIELSKI  lost her mother, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprungand, the Principal killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.

NATASHA CHRISTOPHER, lost her son Akeal, 15, shot in Brooklyn, NY.

SANDY PHILLIPS lost her daughter Jessica Ghawi, 24, killed in theater shooting in Aurora, CO.

Port Washington, New York, USA. 11th April 2016. HILLARY CLINTON, leading Democratic presidential primary candidate, purses her lips during a discussion on gun violence prevention with Rep. S. Israel, and with activists who lost family members due to shootings. The activists shared their stories of personal loss, and Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from New York, called for stronger gun legislation and vowed to take on the gun lobby NRA National Rifle Association. Clinton had several Long Island events scheduled this day, and New York presidential primary is April 19. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Port Washington, NY, USA. April 11, 2016. HILLARY CLINTON, Democratic presidential primary candidate, listens during a discussion on gun violence prevention. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann Parry.com)

The panelists supported Clinton’s call for tougher gun control legislation and vow to take on the gun lobby – NRA National Rifle Association.

And the security screening I and other Press went through was even stricter than it was for Hillary Clinton’s Book Signing two summers ago. Monday it involved a police dog, a variety of scanning equipment, police and agents checking people and their equipment multiple times and places – and more.

Hillary Clinton in Port Washington:  GALLERY  |  SLIDESHOW

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