Four years after 17 people were shot at Stoneman Douglas High School at Parkland, President Joe Biden says his administration stands with advocates working to end gun violence and urges the nation to uphold a “solemn obligation” to “protect one another.”
“From the heartbreak of Parkland, a new generation of Americans across the country marched for our lives and toward a better, safer America for all of us,” Biden said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press ahead of the anniversary. Monday of the fatal shooting. of 14 students and three staff members.
“Together, this extraordinary movement ensures that the voices of victims and survivors and responsible gun owners are louder than the voices of gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association,” Biden said.
Since the Parkland shootings, gun violence in schools has only increased. There were at least 136 instances of shootings on school grounds between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, according to a tally last week by gun advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.
Biden acted to crack down on “ghost guns“, homemade firearms without serial numbers used to trace them and which are often purchased without background checks. He worked to tighten regulations on gun slings like the one used in a Boulder, Colorado shooting that left 10 people dead. He also encouraged cities to use their COVID-19 Relief dollars to help manage gun violence.
But these efforts are far from leading to major change.
In his first year in office, Biden’s efforts to pass legislation to toughen gun laws have not left the drawing board. He was also forced to draw his candidate to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
There are limits to what the president can do when Congress doesn’t feel like passing gun legislation. The biggest effort in years has failed, even after 20 children and six adults were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Parkland arrived six years later.
Biden said he asked members of Congress to provide funds to help reduce violent crime and said they must pass legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines and eliminating the immunity of gun manufacturers.
“We can never bring back the ones we lost,” Biden said. “But we can come together to fulfill the first responsibility of our government and our democracy: to keep each other safe. For Parkland, for all those we have lost and for all those who remain, it is time to fulfill this solemn obligation.
The US Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center studied attacks on schools nationwide from 2006 to 2018 and reported that most bullies were bullied and that warning signs were there. More importantly, according to the researchers, about 94% spoke about their attacks and what they intended to do in some way, either orally or electronically, and 75% were detected because they talked about their plots. About 36% were thwarted within two days of their intended attacks.
Republished with permission from The Associated Press.