Progress Since Parkland

Hello,

Three months ago, the regular rhythms of another day in America were shattered by gunfire. The campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida turned into a chaotic scene of sirens, frantic calls, and tragedy. But this time, something changed. Students in Parkland stood up and started a chant that became a rallying cry: Vote Them Out.

Young Americans found their political voice, and they decided to use it. As Mic noted, “America’s mass shooting generation is mobilizing.” They have turned a moment into a movement and made crystal clear that candidates running for office need to take a stand on gun safety. Thoughts and prayers just won’t cut it anymore. More and more, Americans understand gun violence is not inevitable, and it’s not normal, and that it’s time for politicians in Washington D.C. to reckon with their failure to protect America’s kids.

In the lead-up to the March for our Lives event in Washington DC and sister marches across the country, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords published an open letter to the marchers noting that, “this weekend you will show the world your power.” Since then, they’ve kept marching.

Giffords captured the emotion and motivation of some of these young Americans in a video titled Marching to the Polls. Students have kept up the drumbeat: they have expressed their opinions online, they have formed groups, they are registering to vote, they have led town halls, they have marched miles to call on the Speaker of the House to embrace gun safety or retire. On top of that, at least 25 gun safety bills have been signed into laws in 15 states since Parkland alone.

Here’s the progress we’ve seen in the three months since Parkland.

Under pressure from customers, American businesses have come out on the side of gun safety. Politicians may continue to battle it out, but retail has been particularly quick to respond, immediately implementing policies that have raised the age to purchase guns and ammunition to 21 and stopping the sale of assault-style rifles.

It’s clear that the calls for action on gun safety have completely eclipsed any intensity gap on the issue of guns. With the student-led grassroots activism emerging from Parkland, guns will be a deciding issue in this year’s 2018 election cycle.

Bucking the NRA, (some) Republicans and lawmakers in deep red states are contemplating meaningful gun reforms such as background checks and assault weapons bans.

Despite federal inaction, states and counties are leading the way, evaluating legislation and identifying concrete steps such as raising the gun purchase age to 21 and removing access to guns for dangerous people in an effort to prevent another mass shooting. In fact, at least 25 gun safety bills have been signed into laws in 15 states since Parkland alone.

Polls are clear, Americans are still prioritizing stronger gun safety laws. Even the latest polls confirm the fact that there is bipartisan support for legislation that will reduce gun violence:

Public Policy Polling: Gun Owners Back Stronger Gun Safety Laws

  • 59% of the gun owners feel that the NRA used to be an organization dedicated to gun safety, but it’s been overtaken by lobbyists and the interests of gun manufacturers and lost its original purpose and mission.

  • 83% percent of gun owners support requiring a background check on all gun sales, including those sold online or at gun shows, while just 12% oppose them.

  • 81% of gun owners support prohibiting anyone convicted of stalking or domestic abuse from buying a gun.

  • 81% believe the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in a public place should remain in place.

  • 70% of gun owners support banning the sale of bump stocks and other devices that increase a firearm’s rate of fire.

Gallup poll: U.S. Preference for Stronger Gun Laws Highest Since 1993.

  • 67% of Americans want stronger gun safety laws.

  • 90% of Democrats and 65% of Independents want stricter gun laws. Republican support for gun laws increased from 33% in October 2017 to 41% in March 2018

  • Guns rank as the second most important problem in the country at 13%.

Fox News poll: 53% of voters prioritize protecting citizens from gun violence over protecting the rights of gun owners.

  • 91% support requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers.

  • 84% support requiring mental health checks on all gun buyers.

  • 72% support raising the age to buy all guns to 21.

  • 57% oppose allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds.

Quinnipiac PollVoters want the federal government to act to reduce gun violence.

  • 68% percent of voters say Congress must do more to reduce gun violence.

  • 61% of voters say President Donald Trump must do more to reduce gun violence.

  • 63% of Americans approved of the nationwide March For Our Lives.

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