Parkland survivor: “Don’t wait until you are the one that has gun violence knocking on your door”

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 5:18 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Aalayah Eastmond was a Junior at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School when a gunman opened fire five years ago, killing 17 - many of whom were her classmates.

She says it felt like a turning point for gun reform, but Monday’s shooting proves - there’s still a long road ahead.

“At this point, especially five years since Parkland we should be seeing a decrease of gun violence in this country, but where we’re experiencing the complete opposite, an increase,” said Eastmond. “So especially for survivors and people that have lost loved ones to this to this disease of gun violence, it’s definitely very difficult.”

In the five years since the Parkland shooting - congress has passed the Bi-Partisan Safer Communities Act, but otherwise there’s been little legislative headway on the gun reform front.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown blames the gun lobby.

“I just don’t understand why the gun lobby is so strong here that we can’t even pass a ban on assault weapons,” said Brown. “Assault weapons are designed for war to kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time. Why do we still let people buy those”

While it is unclear what type of weapon the Michigan State shooter used to carry out his attack - we do know it was a deadly one.

“Another space that is supposed to be about community and togetherness, shattered by bullets and bloodshed,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Michigan Republican Congresswoman Lisa McClain praised the first responders, saying quote “there are no words to describe how heartbroken I am about the shooting. This was an act of senseless and horrific violence”

It’s a senseless violence that has cast a pall over Aalayah and her generation.

“Don’t wait until you are the one that has gun violence knocking on your door. Step up and take action now because our children are dying at disproportionate rates,” said Eastmond.

According to the US gun violence archive, Tuesday marks 67th mass shooting this year.