Rep. Carolyn Comitta (D-156), March 6, 2018
We again mourn the tragic loss of 17 precious lives, the wounding of many more and grieve with the Parkland victim’s family and friends.
Our grief is combined with a call to action that has been so passionately and eloquently expressed by young survivors of the Parkland shooting:
“This isn’t about the GOP. This isn’t about the Democrats,” said Cameron Kasky, a student of Stoneman Douglas High School. “This is about the adults. We feel neglected and at this point, you’re either with us or against us.”
“Any politician on either side who is taking money from the NRA is responsible for events like this,” the high school junior said of the shooting. “At the end of the day, the NRA is fostering and promoting this gun culture.”
The students have it right! If we want to pass laws that protect people, we need to have people in place who share that vision.
These young people are framing the gun issue in a way that may just push our country to the tipping point we need to reach and haven’t been able to do so far! There are 4,000,000 18-year-olds in the U.S. who are eligible to vote for the first time this year.
I have been a champion for gun safety laws for decades. The first action I took as a new mayor of West Chester was to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). I also support and work with Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, CeaseFirePA and Gun Sense of Chester County.
For over 12 years, I have lobbied for state passage of legislation to report lost and stolen guns, banning assault rifles, and for universal background checks. I have spoken at local, state and federal events in favor of gun safety laws and have held news conferences in support of federal and state gun safety legislation.
As a state representative, I am a member of the PA SAFE Caucus (working for gun safety laws) and co-sponsor of numerous commonsense gun safety bills.
House Bill 194 (Assault weapons ban)
House Bill 528 (No-fly list gun sale prohibition)
House Bill 1400 (Background checks for firearms sold at gun shows)
House Bill 1872 (Ban on rapid fire or “multi-burst trigger activators” in Pennsylvania)
House Bill 2060 (Strengthen the Protection from Abuse (PFA) Act to require the relinquishment of firearms in dangerous domestic situations)
House Bill 2112 (Ban on large-capacity magazines)
Commonsense gun laws are not an assault on Second Amendment rights. One year as mayor, I convened a series of roundtable discussions with local members of the NRA, Borough Council, local gun safety advocates, MAIG and CeaseFirePA. Although of course we didn’t agree on everything, there was consensus that it is absolutely possible to pass commonsense gun violence prevention laws while protecting Second Amendment rights. There is an opportunity to find common ground with local NRA members, if not with the corporate national NRA. Change always comes from the grassroots – not from the top. Perhaps our young people will continue this conversation.
I believe nothing will fundamentally change until the voters demand it.
Led by the determination and vision of the Parkland students, our young people may finally mobilize and hold elected officials accountable to protect the people they serve.
Adults now need to support the courageous, determined efforts of our students however we can!
Learn about other ways you can get involved:
Click here to easily send an email to Harrisburg leadership and let them know it’s time to act on gun safety reform.
Gun Sense of Chester County
Moms Demand Action: For Gun Sense in America
Everytown for Gun Safety