By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
Students throughout Southern California participated in the national school walkout on March 14 in a display of solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and faculty were killed and many more injured in a Feb. 14 shooting.
In the weeks since, students and teachers have called on national, state and local governments to pass legislation to protect students’ lives.
At San Pedro High School, students placed 17 chairs near the campus flagpole and put up a “call wall” with the phone numbers of lawmakers, and an expression wall where students could write messages.
Instead of stricter gun laws, President Donald Trump has called for the arming of teachers to help protect students in the case of a school shooting.
In an attempt to seize the momentum created by the student walkouts, a delegation of lawmakers and gun control advocates representing Southern California organized a press conference in Washington, D.C. to urge congress to pass gun safety legislation two days ahead of the March For Our Lives march. It will be in D.C. and other cities on March 24.
There are three bills currently pending in congress, including S.B. 2521, S.B. 1212 and its companion bill, H.R. 2598.
S.B. 2009, known as the Universal Background Checks bill, would require a background check for every firearm sold.
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 would amend the federal criminal code to make it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device.
The press conference was also staged to promote Extreme Risk Laws, which are state laws that work like domestic violence restraining orders.
They give family and law enforcement a way to prevent an individual in crisis from harming themselves or others by temporarily removing firearms and prohibiting the purchase of another gun.