Ryan Deitsch will spend his summertime traveling across the country enabling voter enrollment, in a fresh push for gun control laws
Instead of going to college this fall, Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school senior Ryan Deitsch is concentrated in turning out the youth vote in November’s midterm elections in hopes of a fresh push for stricter gun control laws. His summer vacation is likely to be expended traveling across the country enabling voter registration.
Deitsch and other student survivors of the 14 February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, brought hundreds of thousands of Americans to the streets this spring for the March for Our Lives, a protest for stricter gun control statutes that sparked hundreds of rallies across the country.
But they know the success of their movement will be measured by whether they can show that gun control advocacy will bring voters to the polls this fall.
” The voter turnout for America’s youth is approximately about one in five, and that only isn’t acceptable ,” Deitsch said on Tuesday, as part of a public platform conversation with Senator Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat who became a passionate advocate for gun control after the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.” For the most proportion, youth in this country are dismissed .”
The goal, Deitsch said, is to change those turnout numbers.” The moment that number goes from one out of five to three out of five, the youth in this country will control every election to come ,” he told an audience at the Center for American Progress’s Ideas Conference in Washington.” Every lawmaker who doesn’t listen to us now will surely listen to us after November .”
” This is a turning point for each member of our generation,” Deitsch said.
The Republican party has a” genetic attachment” to the gun foyer and the gun industry” that they simply can’t transgress until they are forced to ,” Murphy told. Merely when Republican have to reckon with seats lost because of their pro-NRA policies will the debate change, he told.
” My hope is that it’s this election ,” Murphy told.” Maybe it’s 2020.”
” It’s never going to be a cataclysmic mass shooting that is likely breaks that party from the foyer ,” Murphy said.” It’s going to be a recognition that their political survival ultimately depends on them getting it right .”
” We are further along than I thought we would be ,” Murphy said of the gun control movement.” I supposed this was going to be a 10 -year fight coming out of Sandy Hook. We are now at year five .”
While the student organizers of March for Our Lives set a spotlight on the congressional midterm races, some Parkland mothers are focused on stimulating change closer to home.
Two parents of students killed in the Parkland shooting have announced they are running for the local school board, pledging to focus on safety measures and inducing the school district more accountable.
” The death of my daughter, Alaina, opened my eyes to the challenges in our school system at the district level ,” Ryan Petty, whose daughter was a 14 -year-old freshman, said in a statement.” Right now, the school board isn’t working for us. As a school board member I intend to ask the tough questions and hold all accountable .”
Schools need bulletproof classroom doors with bulletproof glass, another mother, Lori Alhadeff, told Politico- a safety measure she believes would have saved her 14 -year-old daughter Alyssa’s life.” The shooter shooting through the glass. He never actually entered the classroom ,” she said.
The two mothers’ focus on local school board politics comes as survivors and parents of victims of the Parkland school shooting in February push for change on multiple levels, from passing modest gun control measures at the state level to volunteering for a campaign for Florida’s governor, to focusing on congressional midterm elections with the hope of voting out an applicant who resist federal gun laws.
While gun control has been the central issue for many advocates, some, including Petty, have said that more progress can be made by focusing on school safety.
” The schools are soft targets. We’ve got to change that ,” Petty said in late February.
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