NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Students Demand Action and Moms Demand Action, released the following statements today ahead of the six year mark of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, during which 17 people were shot and killed and 17 others were wounded.
In the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, lawmakers in the Florida legislature worked across the aisle to pass the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. This bipartisan legislation, signed into law by former Republican Governor Rick Scott, included several strong gun safety provisions. These include an Extreme Risk Law to allow for the temporary removal of firearms from people who pose a danger to themselves and others, raising the age to purchase all firearms to 21 years old, and creating a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases that also closed the state’s “Charleston Loophole” that allowed some firearm sales to proceed before a background check was complete. Florida lawmakers are now actively working to weaken the state’s gun laws by attempting to undo this bipartisan common sense gun reform legislation.
“My classmates and teachers should be alive today. Nothing can take away that pain, but honoring their memory with action is what keeps me going,” said Sari Kaufman, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a volunteer leader with the Yale University Students Demand Action chapter. “If extremist lawmakers want to undo the gun safety laws their fellow Republican colleagues passed after the shooting, then we’ll come for their seats. Our generation will never go back to accepting gun violence as the norm.”
“Six years after Parkland was torn apart by gun violence, the memory of those we lost remains a guiding light for the gun safety movement,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “As gun rights extremists in the Florida House of Representatives try to undo the legislative legacy of the Parkland tragedy, Everytown and our grassroots army stand with the victims and survivors who will never stop fighting for laws to prevent future tragedies.”
“The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School caused trauma that continues to ripple throughout the Parkland community and beyond six years later,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “The politicians who opt to forget the devastation of this shooting are dooming Florida to repeat this tragedy. But while extremist lawmakers unwind common-sense gun safety laws, young survivors are unwavering in their bravery, advocacy, and demand for accountability. There’s no excuse for students to not be safe in their schools and communities, and we won’t stop fighting until they are.”
“As our hearts goes out to the Parkland community and all those whose lives were forever changed six years ago we also acknowledge the Parkland survivors who continue to stand up, speak out and demand action to stop senseless, preventable shooting tragedies,” said Jennifer Blyther, a volunteer with the Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Six years later, we remember those whose lives were stolen that day, and we commit to continuing to act in their honor.”
Since 2013, Everytown has identified at least 1187 incidents of gunfire on school grounds from 2013 to today. But gun violence goes far beyond school campuses — every day in the United States,120 people are killed by guns, nearly twice as many are shot and wounded, and countless others witness acts of gun violence. This public health crisis is traumatizing Americans across generations, and the scars stretch far beyond those killed and wounded, impacting the well-being of survivors, their families, and entire communities.
While the path to healing looks different for everyone, many survivors of gun violence have found strength in advocacy. In Parkland, Florida, and all across the country, survivors are leading the fight to save lives through action — be that sharing their stories at community events, advocating at statehouses, or fighting to hold the gun industry accountable.