After Parkland Tragedy, Legislators Must Adopt Proven Gun Violence Prevention Policies

The recent events in Parkland, Florida can be described in many ways—tragic, devastating, disturbing, inexplicable—but also, preventable.

Based on the accounts that have emerged since the shooting, it is clear that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, should have never had access to a gun. Cruz left a trail of breadcrumbs leading up to the shooting, posting on YouTube last year, “[I’m] going to be a professional school shooter.” Moreover, the FBI even received an anonymous tip several months ago, warning them about the possibility of Cruz perpetrating a school shooting.

However, like many other states across the US, Florida does not require residents to have a permit or a license to buy a gun, and gun sellers are not required to ask for a state license to sell firearms. Further, Florida does not regulate assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines.

For these reasons, Nicolas Cruz was able to seamlessly purchase the AR-15 assault rifle which he would use to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Mourners bring flowers as they pay tribute at a memorial for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday, February 25, 2018 during an open house as parents and students returned to the school for the first time since 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at the school in Parkland on February 14, 2018. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

This type of incident has tragically become routine. We circle through the same cycle every time: shooting occurs, thoughts and prayers are offered, elected officials politicize the issue, no change, repeat.

It is time for the cycle to stop repeating, and for our elected officials to work with one another to enact common-sense gun laws.

These reforms may include requiring stiff background checks, implementing gun violence restraining orders (or “red flag laws”), and banning high-capacity magazines.

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The recent events in Parkland, Florida can be described in many ways—tragic, devastating, disturbing, inexplicable—but also, preventable.

Based on the accounts that have emerged since the shooting, it is clear that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, should have never had access to a gun. Cruz left a trail of breadcrumbs leading up to the shooting, posting on YouTube last year, “[I’m] going to be a professional school shooter.” Moreover, the FBI even received an anonymous tip several months ago, warning them about the possibility of Cruz perpetrating a school shooting.

However, like many other states across the US, Florida does not require residents to have a permit or a license to buy a gun, and gun sellers are not required to ask for a state license to sell firearms. Further, Florida does not regulate assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines.

For these reasons, Nicolas Cruz was able to seamlessly purchase the AR-15 assault rifle which he would use to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Mourners bring flowers as they pay tribute at a memorial for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday, February 25, 2018 during an open house as parents and students returned to the school for the first time since 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at the school in Parkland on February 14, 2018. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

This type of incident has tragically become routine. We circle through the same cycle every time: shooting occurs, thoughts and prayers are offered, elected officials politicize the issue, no change, repeat.

It is time for the cycle to stop repeating, and for our elected officials to work with one another to enact common-sense gun laws.

These reforms may include requiring stiff background checks, implementing gun violence restraining orders (or “red flag laws”), and banning high-capacity magazines.

Read more at Forbes.com

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