Vigil for Saugus Victims

Jonas Wall and Cameron Bethea

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Brentwood students gathered solemnly on the track last Friday to memorialize the lives lost at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, on November 14. The Brentwood chapter of Students Demand Action, led by junior Lydia Strieker, organized a vigil to remember the lives lost and to call for action. At the vigil, students wrote kind messages on balloons and released them together in remembrance of the two victims.

Students remain fearful and vigilant in the hyperpolarization of the current era, but organizations such as Students Demand Action are looking to make a change starting from the ground up. Strieker started the club after attending a rally organized by the parent organization, Moms Demand Action. “I realized how bad the issue of gun violence was, and I knew I had to help advocate for gun control,” said Strieker.

Strieker wants to make a change while spreading a message of inclusivity, saying: “I want people to know that gun control is a non-partisan issue. I need everyone’s help to push for gun control. It’s a fight for our right to live.” The Students Demand Action club meets Wednesday mornings in Mrs. Haug’s room 101 to discuss and plan group events and current issues surrounding gun control.

The club is calling for regulatory change and increased school safety. “I think there needs to be extensive background checks on anyone who hopes to purchase a gun. There needs to be a tremendous improvement in the amount of security schools have,” said Strieker.

The Saugus High School shooting left three dead, including the shooter, and three injured. The shooter used a “ghost gun,” meaning a kit gun that was assembled and not registered. This is yet another loophole within federal and state firearm regulations. In the 46 weeks of 2019, there have been 45 school shootings and 369 mass shootings. Every incident is another call to action for student-led organizations across the country; SDA is making a difference while remembering the innocent lives lost to gun violence.