Kris Brown has never seen the energy and support behind gun control reach this level. Students are staging walk outs. Businesses are limiting gun sales. And politicians are voicing support for legislation that, a month ago, seemed unimaginable.
According to the Brady Campaign, 42 percent of mass shooters exhibited warning signs before committing their crimes. Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old responsible for the Stoneman Douglas shooting, was on law enforcement’s radar and the FBI had been alerted about his behavior.
Under Obama, the ATF had drafted a rule that would require gun dealers to make secure gun storage or safety devices available anywhere that firearms are sold to unlicensed individuals. "That is something that could really save a lot of lives," said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
"In all of these strings of mass shootings ... there's one common theme and that's the use of an assault weapon. Take that away, and we will see a drastic reduction." Kris Brown, the co-president of the Brady Campaign
"There could be instances of real confusion that would lead to tragedy if we had more guns in more classrooms," said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "What about the time the teacher accidentally leaves the gun unlocked in the desk drawer, and it's picked up by a student?"
After 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week, there are glimmers of hope for proponents of gun control as President Trump and a few Republicans in Congress have signaled support for limited reforms.
"If having more guns in more places where more people go more days of the year actually kept people safer, then America would have the lowest rate of gun violence of any developed country in the world and the exact opposite is true." said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
"People who are affected in a personal way become lifelong dedicated volunteers to this," said Robert Bowers Disney, the vice president for organizing at the Brady Campaign. "It just fundamentally changes people's lives and experiences."
Now, in the wake of another wrenching shooting rampage — this one at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 — and in the absence of any federal action, gun-control advocates, Democratic politicians and others are pointing to the success of states like Connecticut in addressing the spiraling toll of gun violence.
"It is unique, in terms of the American experience, to have such easy access to military-style weapons, and that is causing many Americans to question such easy access, along with many other important issues." said Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence