On Parkland anniversary, Biden calls for tougher gun laws – Times of India


TALLAHASSEE: Sorrow reverberated throughout the nation Sunday as Americans, together with President Joe Biden, joined a Florida neighborhood in remembering the 17 lives misplaced three years in the past within the Parkland college capturing bloodbath.
“In seconds, the lives of dozens of families, and the life of an American community, were changed forever,” Biden stated in a press release launched Sunday.
The president used the event to name on Congress to strengthen gun laws, together with requiring background checks on all gun gross sales and banning assault weapons.
There was no time to attend, the president stated.
“We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now.”
Governor Ron DeSantis ordered flags be lowered to half workers from dawn to sundown throughout the state to honour those that perished when a former pupil of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School opened hearth on campus with an AR-15 rifle on Valentines Day in 2018.
When the gunfire ended, 14 college students and three workers members have been lifeless, and 17 others have been wounded. The suspect, Nikolas Cruz, continues to be awaiting trial.
In his proclamation for a day of remembrance, DeSantis requested fellow Floridians to pause for a second of silence at 3 pm Sunday.
“The Parkland community is resilient in the wake of tragedy, reminding us just how strong and united Floridians can be in the face of such devastating loss,” the governor stated in his proclamation.
The Republican governor additionally famous some of the varsity security measures enacted for the reason that tragedy three years in the past, together with cash to put in panic alert methods at colleges throughout the state and to strengthen applications meant to stop violence earlier than they happen.
The panic alert measure was dubbed “Alyssa’s Law,” in honour of 14-yr-outdated Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the scholars killed three years in the past.
Parkland dad and mom have been divided over how lawmakers ought to reply.
Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was 14 when she was killed within the capturing, addressed the president in a tweet Sunday.
“Mr President, thank you for remembering the loved ones taken from us 3 years ago,” he wrote.
“Alaina loved this country and the freedoms it guarantees. Common sense tells us that honouring her life does not require infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
In an interview Sunday, Petty stated the president’s proposals will not forestall extra tragedies.
“It’s wrong to focus on the weapon,” stated Petty, who’s now a member of the state college board. “For those who understand what happened that day, there were mistakes. This was the most preventable school shooting in the history of our country. The warning signs were there. It was clear the killer had intentions to attack the school.” Petty remembered his daughter as a friend to everyone, and recounted how important community service was to her.
“For those of us who lost loved ones that day, it’s pretty much like any other day. We miss them. There’s nothing we can do to bring them back. The only thing we can do is move forward and try to honour their memories and make sure this doesn’t happen to any other families,” he said.
But critics of the governor and Republican-controlled Legislature say guns are too easily accessible and say more needs to be done to keep assault-style guns away from potentially bad actors.
“The passage of time has done little to heal the heartbreak we felt upon hearing the shocking news three years ago today, nor dulled our sense of outrage at the lack of consequential legislative action from lawmakers since that horrible morning — laws that would prevent another Parkland from ever happening again,” stated Manny Diaz, the chair of the Florida Democratic Party.
Over the years, lethal violence focusing on colleges has shaken the nation — together with the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 that claimed 32 lives and the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012. Even before the Parkland tragedy, there was already plenty of anguish in Florida over gun violence. Less than two years before, another gunman shot up the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people.
None of the deadly events produced comprehensive gun laws. Mass shootings have galvanized gun control advocates, who have been met with resistance from Republican lawmakers and their 2nd Amendment allies. It remains to be seen what will be done on the federal level, despite Democratic control of the White House and each chambers of Congress.
“This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer,” the president said his statement Sunday.
In addition to background checks and an assault-weapons ban, Biden is calling on Congress to outlaw high-capacity magazines and make gun manufacturers liable for the role their products play in violence.
“For three years now, the Parkland families have spent birthdays and holidays without their loved ones,” Biden stated.
“Today, as we mourn with the Parkland community, we mourn for all who have lost loved ones to gun violence,” he stated.
“Over these three years, the Parkland families have taught all of us something profound,” the president continued. “Time and again, they have showed us how we can turn our grief into purpose – to march, organize, and build a strong, inclusive, and durable movement for change.”

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