Yesterday, thousands of students walked out of school to demand more be done to prevent gun violence, following a month of activism since 17 teachers and students were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman High school. It’s already having an impact. Since the shooting:
- Support for gun policy reform is at its highest levels in over 25 years. In fact, nearly “2 in 3 Americans now say gun control laws should be made more strict.”
- The Florida legislature took first steps to change their state’s gun laws raising the minimum age to purchase any firearm from 18-21; and
- Over 15 businesses have dropped ties to gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The NRA is starting to notice. In a shocking about-face, they released a video yesterday supporting extreme risk protection order legislation, which “enable courts to temporarily prohibit a person from having guns if law enforcement or immediate family members show that he poses a significant danger to himself or others.” Right-wing media outlets, like Breitbart, are already calling such proposals “firearm confiscation,” attempting to induce fear among citizens about their guns being taken away.
This isn’t to say that the NRA is suddenly a great organization. But it is to say that efforts nationwide are influencing change, even in the most extreme organizations. Now, President Trump and others calling for teachers to be armed should take a closer look at the facts (4 teachers or police officers have inadvertently fired weapons in schools since Parkland), and demand policies that would actually reduce gun violence.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#EndGunViolence. Yesterday was a testament to the power of students and the nationwide calls for change—but we must keep up the momentum! Next Saturday, the March for Our Lives event will happen in D.C. and cities across the country. Find out if there’s a march happening near you. But you can also take action today! Sign this petition demanding Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stop selling weapons of war and raise the minimum age for purchasing guns and ammunition.
#BankLobbyistAct. Yesterday, the Senate passed S. 2155, which will roll back major protections for consumers and deregulate some of the largest banks in the country. To learn more about the bill, check out our explainer here and Senator Sherrod Brown’s floor speech here. Bottom line: deregulating banks and rolling back protections for consumers puts Americans at risk of another financial crisis like the Great Recession—something our country is finally recovering from years later.
Politicized Medicine. One of the central tenants of the anti-choice movement is fake women’s health centers—often called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)—which often target marginalized communities and disseminate false information about abortion care. A new report from the Center for American Progress explains the strategies of these centers, as well as the danger of their existence, including worsening health disparities and reproductive coercion. These centers will take center stage at the Supreme Court, when the justices hear National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NILFLA) v. Becerra, which deals with whether these centers violate the First Amendment.
UNDER THE RADAR
Discriminatory Policing. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a suit against Sheriff Randy Tucker and his deputies, who police in Madison County, Mississippi. Now, after six months of discovery, new evidence has come to light: “Nearly nine out of 10 people arrested for seat belt violations by Madison County sheriff’s deputies are black,” even though less than 40 percent of the population is black. The lawyers also discovered emails from the sheriff’s department advocating “white pride.” This reflects a nationwide problem with discriminatory policing, and often, these practices result in violence against black individuals. It’s probably why 76 percent of African Americans believed there was “a problem with the justice system when it comes to law enforcement and race,” compared to 33 percent of their white counterparts.