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ASU professor: Close schools to force gun control action in Congress

Student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where moe than a dozen students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting on Wednesday, walk past the house legislative committee rom, to talk to legislators at the state Capitol, regarding gun control legislation, in Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

LISTEN: David Berliner, Arizona State Professor

PHOENIX — An Arizona State University professor has called for schools to close for a short period of time to force Congress to act on gun control.

“If schools in America have become unsafe, I would walk out of them until we get them safe, so I was proposing just shutting them down,” David Berliner, the regents’ professor emeritus of education at the school, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos.

Berliner was quick to clarify that he didn’t mean schools should shut their doors for good, only that bold action should be taken.

“If the only way to get action on some very sensible gun rules is to close the schools down, then that’s what we should do,” he said.

To show the impact school closures would have, Berliner said he was working with multiple groups to hold a nationwide demonstration in two months.

“On April 20, every school in America will be asked to do something — whether it be to close the school or just take an hour off or just walk around the school — to show that this has to stop,” he said.

Berliner said he was confident that the demonstration would happen. He said the current wave of protests — lead by survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting — have taken on a different tone because of the age of the victims.

“When you kill a bunch of 7-year-olds, no one can speak for them,” he said. “Their friends can’t talk. Their parents are so emotional.

“But here’s a group of the most articulate 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds who can tell you what they feel and what they went through.”

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