US gun control advocates see hopeful signs in 2018

US gun control advocates see hopeful signs in 2018

Gun Rights

Washington (AFP) – Gun deaths have been on the rise in the United States but supporters of tighter firearms laws say 2018 may mark a turning point. Several state legislatures strengthened gun laws during the past year including Florida, which has seen a spate of mass shootings. And while gun control advocates say much more remains to be done, they are heartened by the election in November of members of Congress and governors who back stricter gun laws. Shannon Watts, founder of "Moms Demand Action," pointed to the progress made in 2018, in an opinion piece in The Huffington Post titled "2018 Was The Year We Turned The Tide On Ending Gun Violence." Watts said the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 14 students and three staff members dead was the defining moment. "Millions of Americans took to the streets, marching for gun safety, following the lead of teens who would no longer allow lawmakers to turn a blind eye to gun violence," she said. The Giffords organization, named for Gabby Giffords, an Arizona congresswoman critically wounded in a January 2011 mass shooting, also said 2018 gave rise to optimism that America’s gun laws could be changed. "2018 made one thing clear: Americans are ready to address gun safety and reject the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda," it said in a statement. The Giffords Law Center said the gun lobby "passed far fewer significant pieces of legislation and suffered more losses in 2018 […]

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