On the Parkland School Shooting and Emerging Student Activism Around Gun Safety Reforms
The Parkland School Shooting last week that claimed the lives of 17 students and educators is a national tragedy. Our country’s moms once again mourn that even more people – this time, more children – have been added to the ranks of those victimized by our country’s gun violence epidemic with this horrifying act of domestic terrorism that has also assaulted the sanctity of school safety.
This is the eighteenth school shooting this year. We are terrified for our children’s safety in school and we demand action. 150,000 students, attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools, have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. The status quo – where there is a mass shooting in a school once a week – is simply unacceptable.
And while the Parkland School Shooting is a national tragedy, we are encouraged and strengthened by the students of Stoneman who with courage and compassion have started a student movement for gun safety reforms. We stand with them. It is long past time to get military-style assault weapons with high-capacity magazines out of the hands of civilians. It is long past time we fight the epidemic of American gun violence with common sense gun policy reform, including mandatory universal background checks and investment in community-based anti-violence programs. We also call on our elected leaders to remove themselves from the influence of the gun lobby by pledging to refuse their campaign contributions.
The time for thoughts and prayers is over. It’s time to save lives – and to do that Congress must act. The moms of America will no longer forgive their failure to keep our kids safe.
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