There aren’t words for what happened in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day. The trauma inflicted on the students and their families is so unimaginably vast that it may alter the course of American history.
Parkland’s students are forging their heartbreak and anger into action. Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, stood in front of the world’s news cameras and spoke her truth to the nominal leader of the free world just days after February 14:
If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy, and how it should never have happened, and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association. But hey, you want to know something? It doesn’t matter, because I already know: $30 million. … To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you!
They demand that we take action, and we owe it to them and to ourselves to do so. Here’s where you come in. You can:
Support legislation requiring reasonable regulation of firearms:
- Oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a nasty piece of legislation that would force weak concealed carry laws on every state in the union, no matter what laws they pass for themselves.
- Close the bump stock loophole. This loophole allows people like the Las Vegas shooter to buy a gun accessory that turns semi-automatic weapons into devastating machine guns. H.R. 3999 and S. 1916 would curb the sale of bump stocks.
- Support background checks and close the “gun show loophole” by supporting Senator Chris Murphy’s Background Check Expansion Act.
- Learn about the strength of your state’s gun laws with Everytown for Gun Safety’s gun law navigator database.
Let Your MoC Know How You Feel About Their Track Record:
- In the East Bay: both California Senators are strong supporters of gun safety, as are all three of our East Bay Representatives. Here’s a little more info on their track records:
- Outside the East Bay:
- Explore this NPR chart to see how your Members of Congress have voted on gun bills.
- Find out whether your representatives are funded by the NRA.
- If your MoCs support gun safety, thank them! You can be sure the NRA is getting their members to give them grief, and they need to hear from you.
- If your MoCs oppose reasonable regulation of firearms or are being bought by the NRA, tell them they’re not representing your wishes; tell them you won’t vote for them and will work against them. This fundraising piece from Gabby Giffords has graphics you can print and make into a postcard or tape to a piece of paper. You can use Giffords’ tweets for inspiration for your message too.
Hit the Streets and Support the Students:
- Join a #MarchForOurLives in your town on March 24. One march has been organized in San Francisco, with marches in the East Bay yet to be determined.
- Join Sleeping Giants in holding Facebook and media groups accountable for giving platforms to people who are smearing the Parkland students and, among other things, accusing them of being “crisis actors.”
- Educate yourself on the true impact guns have on American society, including fatalities at the hands of police.
Support and Donate to a Gun Safety Organization:
- Everytown for Gun Safety (see their five-action plan)
- Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
- Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
- Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Photograph of Emma Gonzalez copyright CNN