How To Support Parkland Survivors' Gun Control Efforts On The Anniversary Of The Shooting
The horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, claimed the lives of 17 students and school staff members on Valentine's Day in 2018. Soon after, Parkland survivors gained nationwide attention for their unapologetically fierce demands for comprehensive gun control legislation across America. On the one-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting, there are ways to support gun control advocates in a few simple yet effective ways.
In a speech at the March for Our Lives rally in March 2018, Parkland survivor David Hogg called for a change in the way America addressed gun violence. "First-time voters show up 18 percent of the time at midterm elections," Hogg said last year. "Not anymore. Now, who here is going to vote in the 2018 election? If you listen real close, you can hear the people in power shaking."
Indirectly referring to pro-National Rifle Association (NRA) lawmakers, Hogg added, "They’ve gotten used to being protective of their position, the safety of inaction. Inaction is no longer safe. And to that, we say: No more."
A year later, as these young survivors carry on with their fight, there are ways to keep pushing to support their cause. From learning about how gun violence affects people to getting in touch with your Congress member, these simple steps can go a long way.
1. Educate Yourself And Others On Gun Violence
Perhaps the best way to start your efforts in helping Parkland survivors is by educating yourself about gun violence. A recent joint study by McClatchy News, The Trace, and Miami Herald reported that at least 1,200 children in America have lost their lives to gun violence since the Parkland shooting.
Knowing these statistics, the loopholes in gun control legislation, and the history of gun violence in the country can help shed light on the scope of this national issue. Once you've done your homework, you can share it with others and amplify the cause.
2. Join A Protest Or Create Your Own Event
By keeping track of the March for Our Lives and #NeverAgain movements, you can learn if there are planned protests or meetings about school safety and gun violence in your area. But more importantly, you can take matters into your own hands and plan for a grassroots-level event in your community. Be it a large organization's activity or your own gathering, the purpose of such an event is to highlight how schools can be made safer.
3. Send Your Support To The Parkland Community
It's been a year since the Parkland shooting, but family members and friends of the victims have been open about how the loss of their loved ones continues to haunt them. Many of these survivors are on social media and can be reached out to show support, even if it's a short message telling them they're not alone.
4. Get In Touch With Your Members Of Congress
If you want to make your voice heard in a more direct way, get in touch with your representative or senator to make your case for common sense gun control legislation. Here's a quick but helpful guide on doing just that.
5. Support Politicians Who Take Gun Control Legislation Seriously
There are at least 33 U.S. lawmakers who have been vocal about supporting legislation to curb gun violence, including banning bump stock sales and instituting thorough background checks. And when election season arrives, you can help these politicians by campaigning for them and voting them into office.
6. Identify Which Lawmaker Receives Money From The NRA
Business Insider created a concise list of politicians who have received the most funding from the National Rifle Association. You can look them up by checking out the list here.
With straightforward steps like these, you can help the Parkland survivors in furthering their cause and work toward an America where gun violence is radically reduced.