Today marks the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people.
A few weeks after the shooting, I was in Parkland, and I met a number of the student leaders at a park across the street from their school. It was National Walkout Day, commemorating the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, that left 13 dead and 20 more wounded.
I wrote about that meeting and interviewed survivor Lorena Sanabria. Her message to the NRA, which has spent the ensuing year belittling Parkland students, was, “We’re not backing down.”
And they’re not.
Parkland students have spent the last year traveling across the country and organizing. They launched March for our Lives, testified in state legislatures for what they describe as sensible gun laws and registered 18-year-olds to vote. Their voter registration efforts may have swung some close elections last November.
As a direct result of their lobbying, 67 new gun safety laws have been enacted.
And they’re not slowing down now. Seniors from Parkland have spread out across the country to attend college where they’re continuing to organize.
No word from our current president, but our former president, Barack Obama summed it up well in a tweet today: “In the year since their friends were killed, the students of Parkland refused to settle for the way things are and marched, organized and pushed for the way things should be — helping pass meaningful new gun violence laws in states across the country. I’m proud of all of them.”
Here are the names of the Parkland massacre victims. Don’t forget them:
— David Taffet