Schools as Killing Fields Reignite Moral Outrage over Gun Deaths

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was formed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December 2012. The group, which now has approximately 5 million members has focused its energies on handgun laws and safety. While it has had success at the state lever (even here in Louisiana), it appeared to be fighting waves of public indifference to the hundreds of mass shootings that have happened since those pre-Christmas days when 20 children and six adults were gunned down at the school in Newton, Connecticut.

The murder of 17 people — 14 students, one teacher and two coaches — last week seems to have broken through the numbness brought on by mass shootings between Sandy Hook and the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week. The very public outcry of survivors of the shootings touched off waves of anger among young people which, in turned, appeared to shame adults whose inability to convince their lawmakers to pass laws to prevent further mass shootings allowed the mid-February murders to take place.

Rhonda Gleason is a teacher and parent. She’s been active in the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action for more than two years, playing mostly defense in this state where the NRA is actually a designated business partner of the State of Louisiana.

As Gleason explains in this interview, Moms Demand Action’s successes in Louisiana have come through putting human faces on gun violence victims. In 2017, the group defeated a bill that would have eliminated the need for a concealed carry permit (and training) for “anyone who could show that they legally possessed a gun.”

The Parkland, Florida, shootings have given the movement for common sense gun laws here and in other states new momentum. Perhaps America’s conscience has been re-engaged on the gun violence issue.

Propelled by the new energy and outrage of young people who are tired of being targets, those opposing the NRA and their gun manufacturer patrons might now have the chance to pass laws that will break the current cycle of mass shootings that has seemed unending at times.