The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 left 17 people dead. Unlike other tragic mass shootings with high death tolls in the recent past, though, it didn’t fade from the headlines in the weeks afterward. Instead, the Parkland shooting galvanized a movement for gun control — led by teenage activists, some of them classmates of the victims.
These activists planned nationwide events to call for gun control, including National School Walkout Day on March 14 and the March for our Lives on March 24.
Congress hasn’t taken action on gun control, and President Trump, who initially supported a higher age limit for purchasing assault rifles, later backed off, putting forward a plan that included a proposal to arm teachers instead. Some states, including Florida, have passed new gun restrictions, as Vox’s Jen Kirby explained:
Staunchly pro-gun Florida bucked the NRA to pass the first gun restrictions in the state in more than 20 years, in consultation with the families of Parkland victims. The law increased the age to purchase a firearm to 21, instituted a three-day waiting period, and created a system for police to petition to remove guns from someone deemed a threat. It put millions of dollars toward school safety and mental health initiatives, though it included a very controversial, voluntary program to arm some school employees…
Kansas, New York, and some other states are considering legislation similar to Florida’s that would allow for judges to temporarily remove guns if people are deemed a threat. These “red flag laws” existed in five states before the Parkland shooting. Rhode Island’s governor signed an executive order to institute such a policy after Parkland.
Washington state banned bump stocks, devices that effectively let semiautomatic weapons function like fully automatic ones. Cincinnati, Ohio, wants to do the same. Illinois is trying to pass a measure that would require criminal background checks for all gun shop employees.