May News Briefs

Sebastian Arreola

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Students Walk-Out Commemorates 19th Anniversary of the Columbine Massacre

On April 20th, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, students across the nation walked out of class at 10 AM to protest legislation. The goal of  the walkout was to raise a voice within communities, expressing the view that these shootings are intolerable. It was a way for young people to take action and build more awareness on the crucial topic of gun violence. This event was planned by Lane Murdoch, a 16 year old who grew up 20 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 victims were killed in 2012. Students planned open mics, rallies, protests, voter registration drives, letter writing campaigns and other forms of activism. Although it is legal for students to practice their First Amendment rights at school, administrators do have the right to discipline them for being absent from class. Countless high schools across the nation had over 100 students protesting, using this day for building awareness about gun laws and projecting their thoughts about school shootings saying “Enough is Enough.”

Shooter Kills and Injures Four at Tennessee Waffle House

On April 22, 29 year old Travis Reinking walked into a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee (TN) and killed four people, injuring four others. He entered the Waffle House around 3 AM wearing nothing but a green coat. Reinking led officials on a 34 hour manhunt before he was found hiding  in the forest behind a construction site about a mile from where the shooting occurred. He has had past interaction with law enforcement, being arrested last July for trespassing the White House and claiming the desire to “setting up a meeting with Donald Trump.” At the time of the White House incident Reinking was living in Morton, Illinois, and although he was not armed during this incident, the FBI requested that the Illinois State Police revoke his firearm owner’s identification card. Officials say that this was accomplished and transferred his four weapons to his father, Jeffrey Reinking. But his father gave the weapons back to his son, who allegedly used one of them, an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, to open fire at the Waffle House where he targeted black men and women. James Shaw Jr., a bystander and witness to the shooting, wrestled the gun out of Reinking’s hand while he was reloading and tossed the weapon over the counter. Reinking is currently sitting in solitary confinement and is under surveillance every 15 minutes. Authorities believe that he’s not only a threat to others, but is also a threat to himself; thus he’s not allowed anything that could be used as a weapon. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on May 7th.

Deadly Van Attack Leaves 10 Dead in Toronto

Alek Minassian, 25, killed pedestrians on a busy pavement in Toronto, Canada on April 23. He was charged on Tuesday with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. Minassian posted a hostile message toward women on Facebook moments before his deadly attack. His rampage is considered to be the deadliest vehicular assault in the history of Canada. Officials have stated that his actions have not been linked to terrorism, but will continue to investigate. Minassian drove a white van down the pavement, with pedestrians present, for over a mile. After he came to a stop, he was in a standoff with the police, claiming to be in possession of weapons. He surrendered after officials received the first emergency call. While the police did not disclose definite a motive for the rampage, interviews with former acquaintances of Minassian portray him as mentally unstable. Minassian’s actions have been linked to the Incel movement, which is an online group of sexually frustrated men ranting about women. In his group chat online, he stated that the “Incel rebellion has already begun.” (The Telegraph). Former classmates describes him as “odd” and “never fitting in with the rest.” He is scheduled to return to court on May 10.

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May News Briefs