It's been weeks since the deadly mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead, including 14 students. Many teenage survivors of the fatal attack have spent their time since the shooting engaging in activism, however, and now some of them are working to get older generations involved. Specifically, some Parkland students are urging their parents on gun control, and they're doing it in a pretty simple and effective way.
As The New Yorker detailed this week, some Parkland survivors ― Stoneman Douglas juniors Adam Buchwald and Zach Hibshman ― have devised a movement to get America's parents on board with gun control. Basically, the pair have written up a loose, simple contract that kids can ask their parents to sign. It's called the Parents Promise To Kids, or PPTK for short.
It's a document which parents can sign to promise their kids that they'll support politicians who value children's lives over guns, and the robust American gun lobby. The text of the pledge, simple and straightforward, is as follows.
That I/We will vote for legislative leaders who support our children’s safety over guns!
The contract includes lines to sign both the parent's name, and their child's name. Some parents who've signed off on the contract have displayed that fact to the world on social media, tweeting out photos of themselves pledging to support politicians who support reforms to America's gun laws.
There's also a specific contract for grandparents to sign for their grandkids, so if you've got a grandmother or grandfather who wants to join in with this show of solidarity, you're in luck. A statement on the Parents Promise To Kids official website lays out the movement's goals and objectives pretty clearly, invoking past deadly shootings like those at Columbine High School, and Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, a mass school-shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Valentine’s Day was expected to be a day full of love and happiness, but instead turned into a day filled with grief and sorrow. For far too long, the US government has failed in keeping guns out of the hands of deranged killers; thus resulting in the deaths of too many innocent people. How long can we go before another mass-shooting strikes our nation? How many more innocent lives will be taken until politicians make a meaningful change?
"Tragedies such as Columbine, Sandy Hook, the Las Vegas shooting, and Pulse Night Club sent a shock throughout the nation," the statement continues. "After these events, people demanded change, but nothing happened. This ends now! The people and community surrounding Marjory Stoneman Douglas will be the last to endure such a horrific event. Never again will we allow this to happen."
In the weeks following the Parkland shooting, polls have suggested that public support for new gun control reforms is on the rise. In some cases, public opinion has overwhelmingly supported certain tenets of gun control for years; for instance, universal background checks are supported by more than 90 percent of the American public. That's the kind of consensus agreement that's increasingly hard to find in American life, thanks to just how polarized both culture and politics have become.
Even ideas like the outright banning of certain types of firearms have broad majority support in the polls. For example, 72 percent of Americans, support passing a ban on "assault-style weapons," according to NPR.
Those numbers do not necessarily mean state legislatures or the U.S. Congress will leap to meet the public's demands, however. The fight between gun control supporters and pro-gun interests like the NRA has long been one of the most contentions political battles in American life. But with public opinion swelling in favor of implementing some new reforms, gun control advocates are clearly finding a very receptive audience for their message.