The state of Florida enacted new gun regulations today. The bill was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The bill imposes a three day waiting period for most purchases of guns and raise the minimum age for those purchasing guns to 21 from 18. It also bans bump fire stocks. Additionally people deemed “mentally defective” or people who have been committed to a mental institution cannot purchase guns until a court grants relief. Law officers may seize guns from individuals they deem dangerous.
Governor Rick Scott has received an A+ rating from the NRA and Florida is considered a pro-gun state. This makes today’s legislation all the more remarkable. It is extremely doubtful this legislation would have occurred without the efforts of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In fact the bill is titled “The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act”. Kudos to those students. In the face of terrible tragedy they reacted in a herculean effort to prevent a similar tragedy at another US school. Hopefully other states will follow their lead.
Since the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut there have been 239 school shootings resulting in the loss of 138 lives with an additional 438 shot and wounded. That is an average of 5 shootings per month since Sandy Hook. Yet no legislation has been passed in the intervening period. It took the remarkable students in Parkland to bring it about.
The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School deserve recognition for a job well done coupled with a request to maintain the leadership position they have earned. Alfred M. Sloan the former great chairman of General Motors once said: “Take my assets – but leave me my organization and in five years I’ll have it all back.” The students at Stoneham Douglas have quickly formed a powerful organization. I hope they realize what they have built and work to keep their organization alive and flourishing.
Thank You Stoneham Douglas High students! And may you remain forever young as you continue this battle.