Washington D.C., February 15, 2018 —Today, the Brady Campaign and its co-presidents Avery Gardiner and Kris Brown stand with Parkland, Florida, in mourning the murders of 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"We are heartbroken, but most of all, we are outraged," said Brady Campaign co-president, Kris Brown. "In the past five months, America has experienced three of the ten deadliest mass shootings. This is unconscionable. This is a uniquely American problem. Parkland joins cities like Columbine, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, and Orlando that have experienced firsthand the consequences of America's inaction."
Early reports indicate that the shooter exhibited increasingly violent behavior, and that his mother had even resorted to contacting law enforcement in the past to control him. This behavior led to his expulsion from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year. In cases like this, a law known as an "Extreme Risk Protection Order" can empower those who are close to an individual in crisis to ask a judge to temporarily take away the person's guns. But Florida doesn't have such a law. If Florida had such a law, his family would have had the ability to prevent this shooting before it began. Four states currently have such laws, and it is being considered in state houses across the nation.
"Like so many others that came before it, this tragedy was avoidable," said Brady Campaign co-president, Avery Gardiner. "When our children go to school, their biggest worries should be history quizzes and deadlines for book reports, not whether bullets will rain down on them while they're studying. It's time to change the conversation about guns in America, and that starts with each one of us asking hard questions, and demanding accountability from our elected officials. We must demand a background check for every gun sale, call on our elected leaders to pass sensible gun laws that save lives without infringing on the Second Amendment, and start talking about the types of guns that are a common thread in so many of these mass shootings -- guns designed for military use."
President Trump tweeted yesterday that he had reached out to Florida Governor Rick Scott after the shooting. But we already know that Gov. Scott opposes life-saving gun violence prevention policies. For example, he gave his full support to an NRA-backed Florida law that restricted doctors from talking about gun risks with their patients. Brady sued the state of Florida on behalf of doctors, and after years of litigation, won, striking down that dangerous law. The Parkland shooting occurred two days shy of the one year anniversary of Brady's legal victory. If Scott hadn't tried to stifle conversations between doctors and healthcare providers about guns in the home, perhaps this tragedy would not have occurred.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.