Today marks five years since a gunman killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The massacre turned young survivors into celebrity activists and set off another round of intense debate over gun regulation in the U.S. But half a decade and numerous mass shootings later — including a shooting last night, the eve of the anniversary, at Michigan State University — many of the activists say they’re tired.
“We have done so much, as much as we could,” Jaclyn Corin, a founder of March for Our Lives, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in an interview marking the anniversary. “And though a lot has changed, it’s not enough to prevent all of this from continuing to happen.”
From Our Team
Illinois has a lengthy history of regulating firearms, from a 1949 handgun ban to the sweeping reform package passed last month that aims to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous people and bans assault weapons. Gun groups and sheriffs have already filed challenges to the law, gaining a temporary restraining order against its implementation. And reform advocates, though they see the new regulations as a step forward, have their own concerns about the state’s long-term approach.
“This was like a capstone policy repair,” said Kathleen Sances, CEO of Illinois’ Gun Violence Prevention PAC, of the legislative package. “But honestly, there’s so much work … that we have to keep doing, to make us safer.”
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What to Know Today
At least three people were killed and five wounded in the mass shooting at Michigan State University, campus police confirmed Monday night. Authorities said the suspected gunman shot and killed himself. [Lansing State Journal]
The burden of the U.S.’s gun violence crisis falls largely on young people, but they have few formal opportunities to do anything about it. How would Gen Z like to see lawmakers confront the crisis? [The Guardian] Context: Nearly a third of young people say they have experienced gun violence personally.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s campaign asked Tampa officials to ban guns from his election victory party last year — and to shoulder the blame for making the event firearm-free. It’s not the only time guns have been prohibited at one of the Republican governor’s events. [The Washington Post]
Republicans in the Missouri House voted down a measure that would have prohibited kids from carrying guns in public, part of a larger bill curbing the power of local prosecutors. A bipartisan committee had recommended the ban. [Springfield News-Leader]
A fatal shooting in Times Square, the first since it was declared a “gun-free zone” by New York lawmakers last year, renewed questions about whether banning firearms in select areas is an effective way to stem violence. [The New York Times]
New Democratic trifectas in Michigan and Minnesota are advancing gun safety legislation, after years of being stymied by GOP control of governing bodies. Lawmakers in both states are shepherding proposals that would expand background checks and institute red flag laws. [Detroit Free Press/Associated Press] Context: Red flag laws allow authorities to remove firearms from people who are deemed to be at high risk of committing violence.
Oklahoma lawmakers have filed more than 100 bills to expand gun access, including legislation that would empower county sheriffs to arrest federal employees who enforce laws that are “counter” to the Second Amendment. [The Oklahoman]
Memphis District Attorney Steve Mulroy ran as a reformer in November, and he has quickly delivered, bringing rare criminal charges against five police officers involved in the severe beating and death of Tyre Nichols. Now, organizers and advocates want to know how Mulroy will address MPD’s long-standing misconduct and brutality. [Bolts]
Bruen’s history-and-tradition test is malleable, and gives judges wide latitude to interpret what constitutes the right to bear arms. The 5th Circuit ruling that overturned a federal ban on gun possession by people subject to domestic violence restraining orders shows how much the legal landscape has changed. [The New Republic] Context: The federal panel ruled the restraining order provision was unconstitutional because domestic violence wasn’t recognized as a crime in the 18th and 19th centuries.
California state Senator Nancy Skinner, a Democrat, introduced legislation that would close a loophole allowing police to purchase illegal handguns for their personal use or resale, and require law enforcement officers, like civilians, to wait 10 days before purchasing legal handguns. [CalMatters]
“Since Parkland”: In Parkland, Florida, kids who endured the unspeakable emerged with a blunt message for the adults of America: You are failing us. Their frustration was initially and primarily directed at elected officials in Washington and state capitals around the country, but it also extended to the media. The Trace’s “Since Parkland” project was conceived as a corrective — more than 200 teen reporters documented the children killed in shootings during one year in America. (February 12, 2019)