MGSC Responds to School Shooting in Parkland, FL
A former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shot and killed at least 17 people and wounded 14 others yesterday with a military-style assault weapon and large capacity magazines.
“Parkland was another tragic reminder that no community is immune to senseless gun violence,” said Nick Wilson, Executive Director of the Maine Gun Safety Coalition. “School shootings are preventable, but thoughts and prayers won’t stop the bloodshed. We call on our lawmakers to stand up to the gun lobby and take meaningful action to keep Maine’s children safe. They must start by voting against LD 1761, a bill before the Education Committee of the Maine Legislature that will force all K-12 public schools in Maine to allow guns in school parking lots. We must maintain the bright line that prohibits weapons on school property.”
The NRA has introduced bills in at least 23 other states to allow guns on school property this year according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “We must prioritize school safety over convenience. We must put children’s lives before campaign donations from the corporate gun lobby,” Wilson continued.
Maine Gun Safety Coalition will hold a lobby day on Thursday, March 1, 2018. A press conference will be held at 9AM in the Welcome Center at the State House. All concerned parents, educators, and students are invited to attend and discuss their concerns about this dangerous bill with their elected officials.
During the January 24, 2018 public hearing for “LD 1761: An Act Regarding the Prohibition on the Possession of a Firearm on School Property,” the following educational groups and individuals testified against the bill:
- Maine School Boards Association
- Maine Principals' Association
- Maine School Superintendents Association
- Katherine Grondin, Superintendent of Schools, Auburn
- Dr. Cheri Towle, Superintendent of Schools, Brewer
- Heather Perry, Superintendent of Schools, Gorham
- Ken Kunin, Superintendent of Schools, South Portland
- Bill Webster, Superintendent of Schools, Lewiston
- Christine Boone, Superintendent of Schools, Glenburn
- MSAD #51 Board of Directors (Cumberland and North Yarmouth)
- Scarborough Board of Education
In addition to these educators, many parents, teachers, school board members, and gun violence survivors. Testifying in favor was only bill sponsors Rep. John Martin (D-Eagle Lake) and Rep. Patrick Corey (R-Windham). Apparently, the sponsors could not find a hunter who felt strong enough about the inconvenience of having to park across the street from a school when carrying a gun to testify in favor of the bill.
For more information about the public hearing: “School Officials Oppose Bill to Allow Guns in Cars on School Grounds” - Portland Press Herald