On Saturday March 24, large crowds arose all over the nation to march for gun control policy changes in response to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month. The gun control protests consisted of blaring music, homemade signs and anti-gun chants.
The survivors of the Parkland shooting became the face of the March for Our Lives movement that was put together by the survivors of the Parkland shooting. The main march on Saturday took place in Washington, D.C., but there were many sister marches around the nation including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Dallas.
In the midst of the protests, there have been a few different states that have already passed new laws related to gun control. The most prominent changes in gun laws since the Parkland shooting have come from Florida. On March 7, Gov. Rick Scott signed what has been called the most aggressive gun reform that Florida has seen in recent years.
The changes include raising the gun purchasing age from 18 to 21, as well as increased funding for school security, while making provision for armed school personnel. From now on, people in the process of buying guns have to wait three days, or until a background check is finished, whichever process takes longer. Bump stocks were also banned.
Rhode Island, Connecticut, California, Washington, Oregon and Indiana are a few of the other states who have also made gun law changes since the Parkland shooting. The changes for these states initiate a “red flag” policy. This is to help keep guns away from people who might be a significant threat to public safety according to ABC News.
While the new gun law changes that have been seen so far are only on the state level, there are measures being taken to change gun laws on the federal level as well. On Feb. 20 a memorandum was sent to the Department of Justice by President Donald Trump to instruct Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ban bump stocks. On March 10, a notice was sent to the Office of Management and Budget by the DOJ to ensure that federal law be changed to ban the possession, sale or creation of bump stocks.
Sonny Branham, assistant professor of government at ORU, shared his thoughts on this issue.
“By passing laws civil government can, by restricting gun-owner rights, potentially reduce homicide rates. However, violence is a moral issue; and you know the trite phrase ‘You Can’t Legislate Morality,’” said Branham. “The hearts of people must be changed, and civil government cannot do that; only the Savior’s work in one’s life can.”