The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

Let’s Continue to Show Up to Prevent Gun Violence

A white ribbon in memory of the victims of the Lewiston mass shooting hangs on a sign on campus. Ribbons were distributed in bundles of 18 and will hang for 18 days to commemorate the 18 people killed on Oct. 25. Noah Skinner/The Bates Student.

Editors note: Please be advised that this article contains reference to gun violence.

On Oct. 25, 2023, the Lewiston community went through an unimaginable tragedy. As students, it was difficult for us to know how to respond. But for many, the response was simply to show up for our community. We attended vigils, helped out at “Love Lewiston” day, organized a blood drive, held an on-campus Halloween event for local families, and deepened our commitment to community engagement. We saw firsthand the importance of showing up.

In November, The Student published a piece titled ‘“Why Is Nothing Happening?: Ten Bates Students Share What They Want to Say to Joe Biden Following Mass Shooting.” Student comments ranged from “experiencing the lockdown and [the] terror inflicted on Lewiston makes a difference in how strongly we feel about supporting gun safety legislation” to ​​“Why is nothing happening? Why isn’t common sense gun reform being passed? How many more mass shootings will there be before lawmakers take action?”

Now, in March, something is finally happening. This Thursday, March 7, there are public hearings for major gun safety bills in the Maine State Legislature. It’s time for us to show up again in support of gun safety and to bring these same sentiments to the public eye. The Maine Gun Safety Coalition (MGSC) is asking everyone who can to come to the State House in Augusta to testify or to show support. 

There are two bills being heard on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.; LD.2238 which would create a 72-hour waiting period for people looking to purchase firearms and LD.2224 which aims to expand background checks, invest in Maine’s mental health system, and update Maine’s yellow flag law. Both bills are sponsored/cosponsored by Lewiston representatives and are critical for making Maine’s communities safer. 

Bates Students Demand Action will be hosting a space in the Ronj Wednesday night from 8-10 for students to come by and prepare both in-person oral testimony (which is preferred) and written/Zoom testimony for those who are unable to come in-person. 

Sign-up for in-person testimony begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday. If you’re driving down, aim to arrive in Augusta by 9 a.m.. Please fill out this form if you are planning to drive and have room in your car to take other students! There is information about parking and where to go once you arrive in Augusta at this link.

Bates Students Demand Action will provide van transportation for those interested in attending the event. The vans will tentatively meet at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday at the Harward Center (161 Wood Street). If you are van-certified and willing to drive, please email [email protected]. If you are interested in attending, please fill out this form as soon as possible to receive information about any timing changes or updates. 

This is a critical time for gun safety in Maine. Be an advocate for gun safety, and continue to show up for your community.

Resource list for getting involved in gun safety issues:

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  • J

    JoeMar 5, 2024 at 5:52 PM

    How about stop treating the criminals as victims,stop making it harder for the law abiding,hard working taxpayers to defend themselves and their families and stop violating thier Constitutional protected right to Bear Arms.