HEART OF LA DEMOCRATIC CLUB STATEMENT ON PARKLAND, FLORIDA
In loving memory and honor of
Alyssa Alhadeff, age 14 Scott Beigel, age 35 Martin Duque Anguiano, age 14 Nicholas Dworet, age 17 Aaron Feis, age 37 Jaime Guttenberg, age 14 Chris Hixon, age 49 Luke Hoyer, age 15 Cara Loughran, age 14 Gina Montalto , age 14 Joaquin Oliver, age 17 Alaina Petty, age 14 Meadow Pollack, age 18 Helena Ramsay, age 17 Alex Schachter, age 14 Carmen Schentrup, age 16 Peter Wang, age 15
As we work through our fear, grief and anger about yet another murderous rampage with firearms in yet another American school, we are clear: we share the burden of unimaginable loss with the families and loved ones of the innocent students and faculty members who were brutally murdered by the hands of a 19 year old gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
We cry. We struggle to make sense of it. We become numb. We become inactive. We become active. We breathe. We sleep. We spend nights of fitful sleep. Or perhaps no sleep at all. Because one thing is perfectly clear: Our nation is sick. Our nation, which promises in our founding documents, the right to pursue happiness, and equality, and a bright future, and endless possibilities for all her citizens - fails to live up to these promises. Our nation fails because we fail protect the future of young people like Alyssa, Martin, Nicholas, Jaime, Luke, Cara, Gina, Joaquin, Alaina, Meadow, Helena, Alex, Carmen and Peter; and Scott, Chris and Aaron who tried to protect them - in part because of money, and laws, and a different kind of fear – the fear of not being elected.
The majority of Americans believe in responsible gun legislation - at the very least. The majority of Americans believe that the assault weapons ban must be reinstated, because there is proof that it worked. The majority of Americans believe that gun owners along with their guns should be licensed, just as we license drivers and fishers and manicurists. The majority of Americans believe that the gun show loophole should be closed. The majority of Americans want our elected representatives to do something beyond making empty tweets about thoughts and prayers.
The State of California has some of the strictest gun laws on the books. But we need more. We need unified, federal laws that promote the rights of citizens to live without fear of being gunned down by people with weapons that were invented to kill the most people in the shortest amount of time. We need to vote in new representatives who understand these things, and who act.
Of course, we fully acknowledge that along with commonsense gun laws we must talk about mental health, hate, law enforcement, student resources, campus safety, and the culture of violence that perhaps can trigger some people into doing these atrocious acts. We can talk about warning signs, and that if you see something, say something. And we will. But today for us, at least, we talk about guns.
The 2018 midterm elections are coming up. We will be identifying candidates in California and across the nation who are on the correct side of history, who will fight for common sense legislation that will help keep our families safe from people who are determined to use guns to inflict harm and murder.