As members of the Windham County Legislative Delegation representing towns in WSESU, we thank our students for their resolve and solidarity in taking action to promote commonsense legislation to prevent gun violence.
We hear your voices calling out for action and want you to know: We’re listening.
We also thank those school boards who sent their resolutions asking for the same.
This is welcome support for those of us who have been pushing for laws that promote gun-violence prevention and reflect present-day reality.
Your additions to the ranks of those supporting such public-safety legislation just might help us reach a critical mass of support to effect this legislation.
Our children shouldn’t have to go to school fearing for their safety, and parents shouldn’t have to anguish over sending their kids to school and wondering if they’ll come home.
We’re already seeing the effects of what happened in Parkland. Schools have started reporting that students are refusing to leave the school building during fire drills, after hearing how that was part of the attack in Florida.
This is not an easy task, though, as with any cultural shift. Hope can be found, though, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that “[t]he arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Indeed.
Another nugget of hope can be found in legal precedent. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller affirmed the right to own guns, Justice Antonin Scalia, in writing for the majority, left the door open for some limits. His writing added that the court provided examples of laws it considered “presumptively lawful,” including those that:
• Prohibit firearm possession by felons and the mentally ill,
• Forbid firearm possession in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and
• Impose conditions on the commercial sale of firearms.
That is the framework for some of our bills related to common sense gun violence prevention, and we will continue to fight hard to pass them into laws.
It’s time for 21st-century laws that reflect the reality of the 21st century.
Our children, and all of us, deserve no less.
Rep. Mike Mrowicki