In a country awash with guns, shootings like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this February are inevitable. As we consider who is responsible for getting us to this point, the list can grow long. Blame the NRA which pours millions of dollars into local, state, and national elections every year to keep elected officials from passing any kind of gun reform. Blame the elected officials who time and again refuse to enact policies that would prevent more gun violence which includes supporting and funding mental health, poverty, and hate crimes initiatives. Blame President Trump who, since the Parkland shooting, has blamed Parkland students and sounded off about ‘prayers and condolences,’ the Russia investigation, and arming teachers.
As we continue to mourn the victims of these horrible atrocities, it would be inexcusable to ignore the steps we can take to prevent the next one. Elected officials must take steps to curb gun violence including passing laws like the age restrictions that Trump encouraged in one meeting. His cowardly walk-back was predictable. As PFAW Senior Director of Outreach and Public Engagement Diallo Brooks said in an interview with Fox5 DC on March 4:
“The president has a tendency to talk about ideas but not necessarily implementing those ideas. And so, we’d like to see the president take some leadership. We’re encouraged by the fact that he is trying to separate himself to a certain degree from the NRA but we’d like to see him do more to actually move Congress to take some action.”
There’s a lot of rhetoric from Republicans in Congress about ending gun violence at schools, country concerts, shopping malls, and beyond. The time is now to hold them accountable to their words. Join us on March 24 for the March for Our Lives to say “Enough!”