Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte: Assembly Shows Solidarity with National School Walkout and Gun Violence Victims, Pushes for Greater Action

"Today I joined with my Assembly colleagues in solidarity with the National School Walkout. For 17 minutes, we solemnly remembered and honored the 17 students and educators who tragically lost their lives during the heartbreaking school shooting in Parkland, Florida, as well as the families, friends and loved ones mourning these unconscionable losses.

"Silence holds a power and gravity that words often fail to convey. Yet, while we are making it clear that we stand behind the students, educators, families and allies taking a stand, we must also take meaningful action. The victims deserve more than a few minutes of remembrance - they deserve change.

"In the Assembly, we've passed critical commonsense gun measures banning bump stocks (A.9958), keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and dangerous individuals with clear 'red flags' (A.5025, A.8976-B) and establishing longer waiting periods to ensure thorough background checks (A.2406).

"It's time the state Senate acts to pass these measures and protect New Yorkers, and it's time Congress took our cue and protected all Americans. Parents shouldn't have to send their children to school worried that they won't be safe. We can't allow this to become the norm. We as lawmakers cannot become numb, and our families cannot be left to live in constant fear.

"We must also take this time to band together as a people, and as a community, showing our solidarity, not only with Parkland, Florida, but with each other. Halting once and for all the baseless hatred, violence, and prejudice that plagues us all. We must not let the memories of these 17 angels go by the wayside, but rather use them as an impetus for change. It's time for unity, it's time for compassion. And it starts with us. Let this tragic occurrence not be for nothing.

"We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Parkland, Florida, and all over the United States of America. We cannot forget. We must never forget."