18 April 2024

Kamala Harris Visits Parkland and Urges States to Undertake Purple-Flag Gun Legal guidelines

Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday toured the still-bloody and bullet-pocked classroom constructing in Parkland, Fla., the place a gunman killed 14 college students and three employees members in 2018, utilizing the grim backdrop to announce a brand new federal useful resource middle and to name for stricter enforcement of gun legal guidelines.

The freshman constructing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College had been preserved as proof for legal trials and is about to be demolished this summer time. For now, it stays a memorial to some of the stunning mass shootings within the historical past of america.

In remarks after taking her tour and assembly for greater than an hour with members of the family of victims of the assault, Ms. Harris mentioned the expertise had been an compelling one.

“Allow us to, via the braveness and the decision to motion of those households, discover it in ourselves to contemplate what they’ve been via as some degree of motivation and inspiration for all of us,” she mentioned.

“This faculty is quickly going to be torn down,” the vp added. “However the reminiscence of it can by no means be erased.”

Ms. Harris mentioned the assault, carried out by a former scholar with a historical past of psychological well being and habits issues, ought to immediate officers across the nation to embrace native red-flag legal guidelines. These enable courts to quickly seize firearms and different harmful weapons after they imagine an individual could also be a menace to themselves or others. The Parkland shooter had bought his gun legally.

In her remarks, Ms. Harris introduced the creation of the Nationwide Excessive Danger Safety Order Useful resource Heart, which White Home officers mentioned would supply coaching and technical help to states as they work to implement their red-flag legal guidelines.

“Purple-flag legal guidelines are merely designed to permit communities a automobile via which they will share, and have someplace to share it, details about the priority in regards to the potential hazard or the crying out for assist of a person,” she mentioned.

In her transient remarks, Ms. Harris mentioned that solely 21 states had handed pink flag legal guidelines and that solely six of these had accepted the Biden administration’s provide of economic assets to assist implement them.

“I problem the others: ‘Come on over. We’ve bought some assets for you that will help you implement the work that you’ve got completed” she mentioned.

The go to by Ms. Harris to the college is a part of the administration’s broader effort to extend gun management measures as america continues to endure common episodes of devastating gun violence, typically focusing on younger individuals in faculties.

In 2022, President Biden signed into legislation the primary important federal gun management measure in many years. The legislation expanded the background examine system for potential gun patrons below the age of 21, gave authorities as much as 10 enterprise days to look at juvenile and psychological well being data and put aside tens of millions of {dollars} so states can fund intervention applications.

However shootings have continued at a horrific tempo since then. Scores of individuals have been killed in mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine; Monterey Park, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; Hollywood, Fla.; and plenty of different cities throughout the nation.

Ms. Harris mentioned that should change. However she expressed willpower to proceed combating the political gridlock in Washington, the place Republicans and a few Democrats on Capitol Hill have lengthy blocked extra aggressive measures, like a ban on assault-style weapons which are typically used within the deadliest mass shootings.

“I’ll proceed to advocate,” she mentioned. “Properly, what we should do by way of common background checks, an assault weapons ban, what we should proceed to do to deal with diagnose and deal with trauma in our communities.”

Reporters weren’t allowed to affix Ms. Harris on her tour of the classroom constructing the place the assaults had taken place, or to listen to her conversations with the households.

Previous descriptions of the constructing included blood stains from the victims nonetheless on the partitions, glass shattered from bullets on the ground, and books, paper and different faculty provides strewn about as they have been on that grim day.

Jurors within the trial of Nikolas Cruz, the convicted shooter, have been taken on a tour of the constructing in the summertime of 2022 as they deliberated over his punishment. (He was sentenced to life in jail with out the potential of parole.)

Later, the college district introduced that it might demolish the constructing.

“Broward County Public Faculties reached this resolution in session with well being and security specialists, and out of concern for the well-being of scholars and employees on campus,” officers mentioned in a press release on the time. “As we proceed to heal, we stay steadfast in our dedication to supporting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas group.”