New York Teacher Goes On Hunger Strike to Stop Gun Violence
A teacher living in the lower Hudson Valley is going on a hunger strike to stop gun violence nationwide.
On Sept. 5, Shai Stephenson announced in a Youtube video she was "hungry for change." The Westchester County resident who's a teacher in the Bronx announced she was going on a hunger strike in hopes of stopping gun violence in America.
"My hunger is for the killing to stop. My thirst is for the United States to take its rightful place among other nations that have virtually eradicated mass shootings," Stephenson wrote in a Facebook page she made about her hunger strike.
For this month, the Westchester woman is eating one meal a day. If nothing changes regarding gun legislation, the Bronx teacher plans to have more a traditional hunger strike in October, consuming only juice and broth, and in November reduce to just water, salt, sugar and vitamins.
Stephson implores others "fed up with impotent officials that ignore the demands of the communities they serve while they gorge themselves on donations from the NRA" to join in her hunger strike.
She does advise anyone who joins her to consult a doctor first.
"While a hunger strike is inherently dangerous, I do not have a death wish and do not want anyone else to come to harm. Consult your doctor if you are seriously considering fasting," she wrote. "If you have other health conditions, are pregnant, nursing or are under 18 please continue to eat normally. There are many other ways you can support this cause."
Stephson's hunger strike demands are:
- Ban assault rifles
- Require universal comprehensive background checks
- Mandate a purchase license
- Institute a federal (10 day) waiting period
- Permit the CDC to research gun violence
- Repeal laws that protect gun manufacturers (& dealers) from liability lawsuits
"Hunger strikes have been used across continents for hundreds of years to bring attention to the demands of the powerless. They have been successful at forcing change in issues from civil rights to independence," Stephenson said.