One year ago today, a former student walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire. Seventeen people were injured; 17 were killed, 14 of whom were students. In the subsequent year, we’ve witnessed the creation of #MarchForOurLives, an anti-gun violence initiative started by survivors. This movement has created a groundswell of support for gun control initiatives, such as the renewed Assault Weapons Ban proposal and closing background check loopholes.
But in the 365 days since 14 children were murdered in Florida, 1200 more children have died at the hands of gun violence, according to The Trace’s Since Parkland project. Support for stricter gun control has fallen from 71 percent of people immediately after the shooting to just 51 percent today—pre-Parkland levels. And while city and state governments have taken up the mantle of gun control in a manner never really seen before (to the tune of 50 or so new laws), the federal government has yet to act, save for the passage of a bump stock ban, which will take effect in March. Meanwhile, local governments in certain districts have passed laws expanding access to firearms.
The biggest message from Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and other Parkland students has been not to forget. Not to forget the lives of their friends, and also not to forget the wider impact of gun violence.