A year after the school massacre, Parkland survivors vow to keep pushing for gun control

Thousands gathered for an evening vigil at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, Florida to remember those where were killed and injured in the shooting, on February 15, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

School massacre survivors David Hogg and Ryan Deitsch reflected on what they see as progress on gun control a year after the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting — and what’s next for them and their movement.

“I plan to make sure that nobody else, no matter the ZIP code, has to live in constant fear of gun violence,” Hogg told Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday as the one-year anniversary approaches. He said he wants to “make sure our generation is the last generation that has to live with the constant scourge of gun violence.”

Hogg encouraged bipartisanship to address the issue. “We have to be working together, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans attacking the source of evil,” he said.

As advocates for stricter gun control, Hogg and Deitsch said they are encouraged by some legislation that’s been passed since the February 14, 2018, shooting that killed 17 people but said more work still needs to be done.

“Through our activism, through our speaking out and working with both politicians, on the federal and local level, we’ve seen over 67 state laws be passed since the tragedy at our high school,” Deitsch said, adding that several federal bills are being introduced, including legislation to ban high-capacity gun magazines.

“We need them to pass because … these tragedies can be prevented.”

In Florida, the passage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act made several changes in gun control, including banning the sale or possession of bump-fire stocks, providing funding for mental health assistance in schools, and raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18.

The act also requires every public school in Florida to have at least one “safe-school officer.”

“There is so much debate about whether it’s dangerous or the right answer,” Camerota said of the requirement for armed security.

Hogg said he thinks arming teachers is a bad idea. “We have to work to make sure that we’re stopping shooters before they get on campus,” he said.

Deitsch said both he and Hogg, who graduated in 2018, have taken a gap year to work on the movement, and even though they plan to go to college next fall, they are “going to continue this work.”

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