TWW Roundup: Taking Action Against Gun Violence
National Actions Planned After Latest School Shooting
After 17 innocent lives were lost during the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week, the survivors are leading the charge to prevent this from happening again. The routine response in America after a mass shooting — because they occur so tragically often that we’ve developed a “routine” — is to get outraged or offer “thoughts and prayers,” depending on one’s political leanings, and then sit idly by to await the next tragedy.
This time, the high schoolers whose lives were endangered by political inaction are demanding more, and they plan to do so loudly and visibly until something changes. They’ve organized a national March for Our Lives on March 24th to demand “a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.” Local marches in solidarity with the national event are also being planned.
Another student-organized protest is the #NationalSchoolWalkout on April 20th, the anniversary of the deadly shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. The Change.org petition urges high school students to wear orange, walk out of school, and organize local school and community protests.
The Women’s March is also planning a National School Walkout for March 14th, encouraging students, teachers, administrators, parents and allies to walk out of school for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. in every time zone, in honor of the 17 victims of last week’s shooting and in protest of Congressional inaction on legislation to curb gun violence.
Vote for Change
If Congress refuses to listen to the demands for gun control measures, voters must take matters into their own hands and elect new representation who will act to keep our children safe in school. Everytown for Gun Safety has an action plan to get rid of representatives bought by the gun lobby. To have a say, we must have a vote, and that starts with being educated, registered voters. As the highly-anticipated Black Panther premiered this weekend, the Movement for Black Lives got out to #WakandatheVote by registering people to vote at movie screenings across the nation. To join the movement’s Electoral Justice Project and host a voter registration event, text PANTHER to 91990. To register to vote, text WAKANDA to 91990.
ADA takes hit in House
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was groundbreaking legislation that vastly improved living conditions for millions of Americans. That legislation took a big hit last week when the House of Representatives passed H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act, which was introduced to reduce “unnecessary” lawsuits against small businesses. The bill was roundly denounced by disability advocacy groups, who argued it would make it harder for people to file discrimination suits against businesses who did not meet accessibility standards and would take away the incentive for businesses to comply. The bill will now go to the Senate. Contact your Senator today and tell them to vote AGAINST the ADA Education and Reform Act!
Supreme Court to discuss DACA
This week the Supreme Court will hold a rare closed-door meeting on Friday to determine whether it will review a lower court opinion that temporarily blocked President Trump’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. The meeting for an expedited review comes at the request of the Justice Department; the Supreme Court rarely looks at a case before it has been ruled on by a federal appeals court. Trump has tweeted his scorn for the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the court that would have reviewed the initial opinion. DACA is set to end March 5th, and the Senate was unable to reach an agreement last week that would protect the “Dreamers” once the program expires.
- Continue to celebrate and honor Black History Month by checking out this list of blogs and websites that we encourage you to read and follow, not just this month, but all year long.
- Contact your reps and DEMAND they address gun control legislation. This is especially effective if you’re a registered Republican or gun owner! Then check out this list of 30 Gun Reform Actions You Can Take Now and work to change the norm of mass shootings in this country.
- Let your representatives know they must do everything in their power to guarantee the integrity of the Mueller investigation!
- Verify your voter registration status. As we bring our #PowertothePolls, make sure you’re registered!
- Get out the Vote! Join a group like ACLU People Power to help register voters, fight for election reform, and encourage everyone to vote.
Justine Hendricks is a writer, editor, and fitness professional. A bookworm and history nerd, she holds an American Studies degree from Washington College (Md.) and believes in liberty and justice for all.