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Published On: Thu, Mar 29th, 2018

Students Are Marching for Strong Gun Safety Laws: What Can You Do?

“Enough is enough” say thousands of high school students and supporters gathered in Washington and across the U.S. to demand tougher gun laws from an older generation that’s delivered little change after years of mass shootings. “Never again”.

It seems that at least one section of American society has had enough!

Participants in the March for Our Lives rally thronged the presidential inaugural route on Pennsylvania Avenue, at times chanting “vote them out” as speakers from a stage at the foot of Capitol Hill proclaimed the beginning of a political movement.

They intend to make it a voting issue and get rid of the public servants that support the gun lobby.

Will the shooting in Parkland, Florida push Congress to actually do something on gun control? Republicans are talking about background checks and raising age limits on buying assault-style rifles. Last year, after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in Las Vegas, Congress did nothing.

What can you do?

The call is for action against gun violence. Student leaders hope to raise gun control as a key issue during the November midterm elections, to build support for candidates who advocate universal background checks and complete bans the sale of assault-style weapons.

Join a public march

There are many public protests planned in major cities all over the world. You can join them and make your voice heard and your presence felt.

Following the huge March for our Lives event held on March 24th, there is another “National School Walkout” planned for April 20th, which is the 19th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.

Fundraising

Student organizers have raised more than $3 million through an online GoFundMe campaign and worked with Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates universal background checks and other gun control measures.

Actor Josh Gad has started a challenge to raise money for a scholarship in honor of Alex Schachter, one of the students killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Gad is asking people to read a poem written by Schachter entitled “Life is like a roller coaster” and donate $15, using #AlexSchachter.

Also, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas are recording videos and encouraging other students to do the same using #WHATIF to persuade politicians to stand up for gun control and student safety.

Voting

You can make gun safety legislation your primary issue when choosing a candidate to vote for in upcoming midterm elections. But do some research first to make certain that the candidate is genuinely supportive of gun control and safety. The NRA support many public figures – don’t vote for them, no politician who is funded by a gun industry lobby is going to advocate gun control. Be aware that the NRA pay politicians thousands of dollars and these same politicians regularly offer their thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families following massacre after massacre.

Register to vote and get your friends to register too.

Force candidates to go on public record stating clearly their position on gun control and gun safety legislation. If they use typical politician’s avoidance techniques, don’t vote for them.

If you really want to make a difference, you can always run for office yourself, not just Congress, any office that carries a voice – city council, school board, sheriff. Hundreds of people are doing just that.

There is a website that gives parents the chance to sign a contract with their children to help vote in lawmakers who stand for commonsense gun control measures. Parents Promise to Kids is an initiative established by Adam Buchwald and Zach Hibshman, juniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The website urges parents to “vote for politicians who will choose your children’s safety over guns”.

Never Again: Pick up a pen

A letter writing campaign started by Parkland students, called #NeverAgain: Pick Up A Pen, has been circulating on Twitter. This campaign proposes writing a letter addressed to the White House and the President. It suggests you include details of your experiences and what you want to change.

Conclusion

There still exists what is called the gun-control paradox, which is the reluctance of Congress to support gun control regulations, even though the majority of US citizens are in favor of them.  One possible explanation is that American gun owners are intense, passionate, highly motivated and well organized and willing to vote for or against a candidate purely on the basis of their stance on gun control. Historically, an intense minority has prevailed over an apathetic majority.

However, maybe this time, it will be different. Most people now support some form of gun control given all the recent deadly massacres and maybe this majority is also intense and highly motivated as the gun owners.

Make your vote count and we could see some positive gun control moves very soon.

Thank you to the team over at GunSafeGuru.com for the time and effort they take to push the need for gun safety to be heightened.

Author: Tom Ginevra

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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