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A year ago, on the day of Valentine’s day, a gunman opened fire in a high school in Florida, killing 17 people: this attack triggered the United States a vast movement of protest against the weapons, directed by the young, but the lines were little changed on the legislative side of the federal government.
Bruised, the students of Parkland have been able to convert their grief into activism. They have opened up a national debate, which culminated in the largest demonstration against the arms of the United States history, the march 24, 2018. But the litany of shootings deadly continued.
Four months before that fateful Valentine’s day, a man had killed 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas. A year and a half earlier, an armed attack in a gay bar in Orlando, Florida, had caused 49 deaths. And the list is sadly a stretch.
Nothing that since the beginning of the year 2019, the site Gun Violence Archive has recorded 37 shootings in the United States, with a total of more than fifty of the deceased victims.
“There are so many shootings have taken place. All that you receive, what are your thoughts and prayers, but in the end, nothing happens “, is a testament to the AFP Ryan Servaites, a survivor of the slaying of the high school Marjory Stoneman Douglas of Parkland.
“It is a shame that our government did absolutely nothing about it. We’re fed up “, continues the young man of 16 years.
Finished the “bump stocks”
A month after the attack, which struck their institution, the student activists had managed to gather hundreds of thousands of people in the capital city of Washington, under the banner “March for our lives” (Walking for our lives).
More than 800 walks were held in other cities of the United States and in the world.
The youth of Parkland were then surveyed 26 States, visited schools, shared with legislators, published a book, participated in a documentary for HBO, and, especially, pushed for laws to change.
“Our childhood came to an end in 11 minutes,” wrote in November, student leaders David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez in the columns of the Washington Post, in reference to the duration of the attack.
Their State of Florida, led by republicans, has not facilitated the task. But they have helped to make them adopt local laws which opposed the powerful lobby american weapons, the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Among them: the creation of a “red alert” to allow judges to order the seize the weapons from people deemed mentally unstable; the raising to 21 the legal minimum age to buy a weapon, and the prohibition of ” bump stocks “, a device capable of automatic fire.
President Donald Trump has extended in December the prohibition of “bump stocks” to the United States as a whole. And according to the Giffords Law Center, who sees it as a ” tectonic movement “, some 67 laws limiting access to guns, have been adopted since the massacre of Parkland in 26 States and the federal capital, Washington.
In fact, no national measure of breadth has been taken in Congress.
Keep up the pressure
The movement by anti-gun does not, however, release the pressure by 2019.
Parliamentarians of the two major parties in the us were filed on Friday a draft law in favor of a systematic inspection of judicial records prior to any sale of the weapon, which is not the case today for the firearms sold between private individuals on the internet.
But the defenders of the second amendment of the U.s. Constitution, which guarantees the possession of a weapon, are determined to fight this project.
A group of survivors and families of victims of the slaughter of Parkland has also launched Monday a petition which, if it gets enough signatures in one year (766 220), would pave the way for a referendum on banning the sale of assault rifles in Florida.
“We have set a goal to amend the Constitution of Florida to ban the assault rifles of military type such as the one that was used to murder my classmates “, said Tuesday the young activist David Hogg.
The author of the shooting, Nikolas Cruz, 20, is jailed in Florida pending his trial. Prosecutors in Florida have indicated since last march their intention to seek the death penalty against him, for his 17 murders with premeditation.