WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — February 14 will mark one year since the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and educators were killed and 17 more were wounded. In the year since this unspeakable tragedy, Americans have come together to deliver a unified message to our elected leaders. Enough is enough.
Students, parents, gun violence survivors and Americans of all walks of life have spent the past year urging lawmakers to reject the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda and demand gun violence prevention policies that will save lives. The results of this advocacy speak for themselves. Since Parkland, 20 states and Washington D. C. have passed gun violence prevention policies, including nine with Republican governors.
In New York State, we have passed several gun violence prevention bills that make our communities safer. The new Democratic majority in the State Senate, led by Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, passed bills that included background checks on gun purchases, an extreme risk protection or “red flag” bill that allows for a court order temporarily restricting a person’s access to guns when they pose a danger to self or others, and banning “bumper stocks”, which were responsible for the horrific shooting in Los Vegas.
I applaud Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the entire Democratic caucus for getting this legislation passed and better protecting our families. I encourage everyone to continue to reach out to our elected officials.- especially at the national level- to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent gun violence.
# # #
Sara Settembrini is a retired banker and former real estate agent. She has resided in Yonkers, NY, for the last 10 years. She also volunteers at the Metropolitan Museum of New York and the New York Botanical Garden.