David Hogg, who is now 19, is one of the Parkland High School mass shooting survivors who took over the political scene with some fellow survivors and classmates in 2018. Hogg, who co-founded March for Our Lives, has thrown the weight of the organization behind a new and ambitious gun-control program.
An interview with The Washington Post is the first time that Hogg and other Parkland students are speaking out after the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The students hope that President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential hopefuls will take the program into consideration, according to The Post.
“I think similarly to a lot of the country, I’m in a lot of pain right now,” Hogg told The Post. “You see these shootings on TV every day and very little happening around it. It’s painful to watch. And I think it’s been really hard for me and many of the other students and people that we work with to find hope in this time. But I think that this plan is something that we can truly — as a country and as Americans united against violence and fighting for peace — can get behind.”
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The gun control program is called “A Peace Plan for a Safer America.” It would create:
- a national licensing and gun registry
- a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
- a mandatory gun buyback program
- a “national director of gun violence prevention” who would report directly to the president and coordinate the federal response to what advocates call a national public health emergency
- raising the age to 21 from 18 for those who want to buy guns a “multi-step” gun licensing system, overseen by a federal agency that would include in-person interviews and a 10-day wait before gun purchases are approved. (The license would be renewed annually)
“A Peace Plan for a Safer America” by the Parkland High School mass shooting survivors includes other initiatives, including automatic voter registration when eligible people turn 18 and the creation of a “Safety Corps,” which would be like a Peace Corps for gun violence prevention.
“It’s bold. It’s nothing like anyone else is proposing. We are really setting audacious goals,” Tyah-Amoy Roberts, a Parkland survivor who is on the March for Our Lives board of directors, told The Post. “And more than anything, what we are seeking to do is be intersectional. We know and acknowledge every day that gun violence prevention is not just about preventing mass shootings.”