Pummeling Politics

Fort Rock Festival Offers Discounted Tickets for Students Who Sign Gun Control Petition

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Florida isn’t exactly a state that’s known for its progressive views on gun control. For example, it was the state’s “stand your ground” law that was cited by the defense after teenager Trayvon Martin was murdered by self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in 2012.

So even though Florida is considered a swing state, it’s a bold move for a high-profile festival like Fort Rock to take a stand against gun violence in America. But that’s exactly what they’re doing: the festival, which takes place in Fort Lauderdale on April 28th and 29th, is offering a 50% discount on weekend passes to students who sign a petition pressuring lawmakers into taking action against gun violence.

The “Students Fighting Guns Since Adults Won’t” petition on Change.Org has already received more than 211,000 signatures (the petition pre-dates Fort Rock’s support of it). Metal Insider tells us that the petition was created by Kalamazoo, MI high school student Julia Kemple as a way of showing lawmakers that kids are ready to stand up and fight for their protection following the recent murder of 17 at a school shooting in Parkland, FL. Kemple explains:

“Adults have failed us. Everyday, we students walk into school with the promise of an education without threat of violence. However, it has become increasingly clear that hallways of schools across America are no longer a guaranteed safe haven. Whether it’s an elementary school in small-town Connecticut or a high school in Florida, it’s become apparent that school shootings are becoming an expected part of American life. Since 2013, there have been 291 school shootings, with 18 of them happening in 2018 alone. We simply ask how many shootings will it take, how many innocent children have to die, until adults decide we, as our nation’s children, are more important than our nation’s guns. Therefore, we ask our fellow students to take it upon ourselves to stand up as our adults remain sitting. We demand change.

“While most students cannot vote, we are not voiceless to our society. There are about 56 million K through 12 students in the United States. If we mobilize this population — by signing petitions, contacting lawmakers, and utilizing social media — we can make our presence felt. Ultimately, our goal is to pressure lawmakers to make comprehensive and responsible gun control policy to keep our schools and society safe.

“It’s not a matter of if anymore, it’s a matter of when we will be affected.”

While Florida’s urban centers (such as Fort Lauderdale) tend to be more liberal, Fort Rock undoubtedly draws crowds from the rest of the state and beyond, places where concertgoers are likely to be more conservative and adamantly against gun control measures. What’s more, the festival lineup features bands that are wildly popular in America’s heartland — Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, etc. — and whose fans also tend to align more on the conservative side of things. The festival and its promoters — Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live — are taking a big gamble that there won’t be any fallout from the decision to back a group advocating for gun control, and for that they should be applauded: we need more high-profile groups standing up for what’s right!

You can sign the petition here if you so desire, regardless of whether you’re attending Fort Rock. Those wishing to take advantage of the discount can send a screenshot of their signed petition or forward their confirmation email to dh@dwpresents.com for instructions on how to get the discount. More information on Fort Rock is available at the festival’s official website.

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