One year ago today, 17 lives were taken, and many others were injured, at a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This shooting shook the country to its core, and reignited the necessary conversation about the epidemic of gun violence. The young people in Parkland have taken it upon themselves to stand up and speak up for their lives. I was proud to march with them last year in NYC during the March for Our Lives.
Since Parkland, New York State has continued our work to pass legislation to prevent gun violence and save lives. One of my gun violence prevention bills recently passed the legislature, along with a package of other prevention measures. Senator Kavanagh and I passed a bill to create a temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) to restrict a person's access to firearms if they pose a serious risk to themselves or others via suicide or interpersonal gun violence, and it ensures due process before the law. My legislation will give family members, law enforcement, and certain school officials the tools they need to prevent these kinds of tragedies before they happen.Â An ERPO law in Florida could have prevented this tragedy, as we know that the shooter had a history of escalating violence, and those close to him had reported it, but they didnt have the proper mechanisms to act.
This conversation is not just taking place in New York, but nationally, as well. In November, a significant number of new Members of Congress were elected because of their commitment to passing common-sense gun laws. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives held their first gun violence prevention hearing, on HR8, in almost a decade. It is because of the work of these brave young activists, and other grassroots organizations, advocates, and survivors, that were are making strides to prevent gun violence.
While there is tremendous momentum on this issue, it is important to note that the number of gun deaths is rising, and the impact on young lives is astounding. A new site, Since Parkland, shows how much time has passed since this tragedy, how many kids of have been killed by guns in the U.S., and the effect these losses have on their loved ones and communities.
Today we remember the 17 lives that were lost in Parkland, the 109 people who are killed every day by gun violence in the U.S., and commit ourselves to fighting for a safer world.