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March for Our Lives Unveils Sweeping Gun Reform Agenda: 'The Time Is Now'
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=51435"><span class="small">Abené Clayton, Guardian UK</span></a>   
Wednesday, 21 August 2019 08:37

Clayton writes: "March for Our Lives, the organization created by survivors of the February 2018 mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, released an audacious policy agenda calling for far-reaching reform."

Members of March for Our Lives are joined by members of the community to protest Walmart gun sales in Coral Springs, Florida. (photo: Ian Witlen/Rex/Shutterstock)
Members of March for Our Lives are joined by members of the community to protest Walmart gun sales in Coral Springs, Florida. (photo: Ian Witlen/Rex/Shutterstock)


March for Our Lives Unveils Sweeping Gun Reform Agenda: 'The Time Is Now'

By Abené Clayton, Guardian UK

21 August 19


Student activists call for 30% reduction in civilian firearms and mandatory buyback program

arch for Our Lives, the organization created by survivors of the February 2018 mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, released an audacious policy agenda calling for far-reaching reform.

The proposal released on Wednesday, Peace Plan for a Safer America, includes plans to reduce the number of firearms in civilian hands by 30%, create a mandatory federal gun buyback program for assault weapons, and re-examine the 2008 supreme court decision that allows private citizens to keep handguns in their homes.

“The next president must act with a fierce urgency to call this crisis what it is: a national public health emergency,” the plan reads.

“The time for comprehensive and sweeping reform is now.”

The plan comes as the 2020 presidential election cycle heats up, and amid renewed attention on gun control following mass shootings in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio.

Following the shootings, Donald Trump appeared to cautiously support calls for background checks for gun sales, even as the president focused much of his response to the shootings on blaming mental illness. On Tuesday, however, Trump walked back his support for the gun control measures, after a meeting with officials from the National Rifle Association.

Groups like March for Our Lives argue that the new measures are long overdue. Democrats have long supported what some call commonsense gun laws that include banning assault weapons and mandating universal background checks. But emboldened by broad support for gun control among the American public, and young voters in particular, the activists hope that Democrats will back more ambitious measures, including mandatory assault weapon buybacks and an IRS investigation of the NRA.

“This plan is not geared toward Democrats or Republicans. It’s not about a party, it’s not about politics, it’s about saving lives and prioritizing that,” said Eve Levenson, federal programs manager at March for Our Lives.

“We’re looking to change the culture of gun violence and that is going to require doing some things that are going to make people at first think, ‘Oh no you’re going to take my guns’,” Levenson continued. “It’s not about what we’re against, it’s what we’re for,” she added.

“The simplest comparison to make is the right to drive a car. We should have that same level of standard of expectancy to own a gun,” Levenson said.

March for Our Lives’ suggested policies would put the US in step with countries such as New Zealand, where officials passed sweeping legislation banning assault weapons six days after 51 people died in the mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch.

The March for Our Lives platform also includes strategies to prevent the maelstrom of daily gun violence that receives less attention than mass shootings, including community gun violence, suicide and domestic abuse.

“What works in one community to reduce gun violence may not work in another,” the plan notes.

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