If you think we haven’t hit the tipping point for gun violence in America, you’re not paying attention. The movement went into overdrive after the Parkland, Florida high school shooting that killed 17 students and educators, and wounded 14 others.
What took us so long?
The first mass school shooting of this magnitude happened on August 1, 1966 when Charles Whitman climbed up into the observation tower at the University of Texas. 17 dead. 31 wounded. People of a certain generation still recall his name.
Columbine was in 1999. Virginia Tech, 2007. Sandy Hook was 5 years ago.
These are just the biggest and probably most publicized of the school-related crimes. This is not new. Here’s an exhaustive list.
Never mind the mass shootings outside schools.
No sensible person wants to take away sport weapons or abolish the 2nd Amendment. I’m sure you’ve seen all the memes. My favorite one is in the vein of “what I learned in kindergarten.” It’s about a kid beating up other kids on the playground with a stick. How do you respond? You punish the kid, and you take the stick away.
#NeverAgain and #MarchForOurLives are picking up steam. This is the movement started by students at Parkland, Florida in the wake of the murders. The national march is March 24—all over the country. Morristown’s March begins at 11am. This is blowing up all over social media.
Be watching for details on a kick-off rally here in Madison at Borough Hall at 9am on March 24 before everybody gets on the train for Morristown. We met with Mayor Conley this week and we’re organizing! Borough officials, Madison first-responders, civic groups, area clergy, Scouts and more. Details coming.
More and more corporations are cutting ties with the NRA. These are big names. You know them all.
United. Delta. Hertz. Symantec. MetLife. Enterprise.
Today Dick’s Sporting Goods issued (in part) the following statement:
Beginning today, DICK’S Sporting Goods is committed to the following:
- We will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all DICK’S stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.
- We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.
- We will no longer sell high capacity magazines.
- We never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.
At the same time, we implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations:
- Ban assault-style firearms
- Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21
- Ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks
- Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law
- Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms
- Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks
We hope others join us in this effort to let our kids know that their pleas are being taken seriously.
My new sporting goods store. Thoughts and prayers turning to action. Finally!
The tipping point.
Grace and peace,