On the fourth anniversary of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting, President Joe Biden called on Congress to take action on gun control.
“My administration stands by those who are working to end this epidemic of gun violence,” Biden said Monday.
He urged lawmakers to pass a budget with his request “which provides an additional half a billion dollars for proven strategies that we know reduce violent crime – accountable community police and community violence interventions.”
Fourteen students and three staff members were killed during the February 14, 2018 shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School – the deadliest high school shooting in the country.
Monday marks the fourth anniversary of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people died.
President Joe Biden urged Congress to take action on gun control in anniversary statement
“I am disappointed. Honestly, if I could tell the president one thing, it’s that we need you to come out and act right now before the next Parkland happens. There are things you can do right now to help prevent this. did not do”. @davidhogg111 pic.twitter.com/wkof92yAvf
— New Day (@NewDay) February 14, 2022
After the shooting in Parkland, the number of incidents of firearms in schools increased.
Between August 1 and December 31, there were at least 136 shootings on school property, according to a count last week by gun rights group Everytown for Gun Safety.
That figure is nearly four times the average for the period since Everytown began tracking school shootings in 2013.
Biden has taken action to crack down on “ghost guns,” homemade firearms that lack the serial numbers used to track them and are often bought without background checks.
He worked to tighten regulations on handgun stabilization braces like those used in Boulder, Colorado in a shooting that killed 10 people. He also urged cities to use their COVID-19 aid dollars to help deal with gun violence.
But these efforts are far from major changes.
In his first year in office, Biden’s efforts to pass legislation to tighten gun laws didn’t leave the drawing board. He was also forced to withdraw his candidate for head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
There are limits to what the president can do when Congress doesn’t want to pass a gun law. The strongest attempt in years failed, even after 20 children and six adults were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Parkland happened six years later.
David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, was critical of Biden’s efforts.
‘I am disappointed. Honestly, if I could tell the president one thing, it’s that we need you to come out and act right now before the next Parkland happens. There are things you can do right now to help prevent this that you haven’t done yet,” he told CNN’s New Day program on Monday.
And Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, who was killed in the shootout, unfurled the sign from a crane just a few blocks from the White House.
“45,000 people died from gun violence in front of your eyes!” reads a caption with a photo of Joaquin Oliver and a link to a website with statistics on gun violence during the Biden administration.
“Today the whole world will listen to Joaquin,” Oliver said in a video he posted on Twitter showing the sign.
The Parkland shooting remains the deadliest high school shooting in history – parents wait outside the school four years ago.
Some survivors and family members of the victims of the shooting criticized Biden for not paying enough attention to gun control.
Biden said he asked members of Congress for funding to help reduce violent crime and said they should pass legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers.
“We can never get back those we have lost,” Biden said. “But we can come together to fulfill the first duty of our government and our democracy: to keep each other safe. For Parkland, for all those we’ve lost, and for all those left behind, it’s time to make that solemn commitment.”
A trial to determine the fate of the Parkland shooter, who pleaded guilty, is scheduled for April. The jury will decide whether he receives the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered government buildings, parks and other state facilities to lower their flags at half-mast on Monday to mark the anniversary.
“The sacrifices of these heroes, as well as the courageous actions of the rescuers, will never be forgotten,” DeSantis said Friday in a statement.
The U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center studied attacks on schools across the country between 2006 and 2018 and reported that most of the attackers were bullied and that there were warning signs.
Most importantly, according to the researchers, about 94% spoke about their attacks and what they intended to do in one way or another, whether verbally or electronically, and 75% were discovered because they spoke about their plots. About 36% were prevented within two days of the alleged attacks.