The group, Moms Demand Action (MDA), is lobbying for new gun control in the aftermath of last week’s horrific school shooting in Parkland near Fort Lauderdale.
MDA members gathered at the Capitol on Thursday, one day after 17 students and teachers were gunned down in Parkland. More than 40 members of the organization joined together in red T-shirts.
They stood side by side, carrying over 5, 000 petitions pleading with the Florida lawmakers to enforce tougher gun regulations and tougher background checks.
Dwanna Hill a Tallahassee mother at the rally, said she didn’t understand why lawmakers do not see the urgency after the events of the day before.
“What do we have to do for our children to be safe? We send them off to school with no intentions on losing them just to get a phone call saying they have been shot,” Hill said. “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I have a 25-year-old and a 19-year-old. I would blame it on the generation but what about authority when the tip was released? Did it really take a mass shooting to get everyone to wake up?”
MDA targeted Senate President Joe Negron, and went to his office to represent the defenseless.
Katie Kile, leader of the Tallahassee chapter, said, “The Florida Legislature needs to address an epidemic of gun violence,” according to USA Today.
The shooting broke out on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, and 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz allegedly attacked Majory Stoneman Douglas High School taking the lives of 17 victims with an AR-15- style rifle. He also injured over a dozen other victims. Cruz will be facing the death penalty and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
An FBI general call line received a tip Jan. 5, about Cruz’s potential attack on the school, the operator reported to a supervisor but no warning made it any further, according to law enforcement reports. Cruz has admitted that he walked into the school that had expelled him and fired bullet after bullet into the classrooms and hallways of the high school.
Negron, after encountering MDA, turned down the opportunity to directly address the question of whether more gun regulations are needed.
“I think we are all committed to the principle that a person in that category should not have access to any firearm,” Negron said, according to published reports.