Florida Students May Want To Consider Ballot Initiative
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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Did you receive a phone call from the March For Our Lives movement today, urging people to call their Florida legislators on gun law?
Emma Gonzalez, one of the surviving students from school shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School and one of twenty co-founders of March For Our Lives movement, now has 1.2 million followers on Twitter, more than that of NRA, at 617,000 or NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, at 817,000.
Having a group of supporting students being savvy with social media is one of the main contributing factors for the success of March For Our Lives movement. As of today, another co-founder of the March For Our Lives movement, David Hogg, is reaching 436,000 Twitter followers, Cameron Kasky is reaching 281,000 Twitter followers, and Sarah Chadwick is reaching 270,000 Twitter followers. These students’ effort has helped to keep the school shootings and gun control issue in the headline since February 14, 2018.
In addition to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and dozen of other social media networks may all become part of the tools in keeping these issues alive. Regardless how long this movement would last, it is definitely the first time ever we’ve seen the intersection of passion of young people with the technology of social media.
In a recent Quinnipiac poll, it is indicated that 97% of the American voters support universal background checks, 83% support a mandatory waiting period, and 67% support a nationwide ban on assault weapons. But apparently the Congress and most state legislatures do not agree with the American voters. On Thursday, March 1, 2018, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that his chamber would skip the gun control debate and instead take up a banking bill. At the state level, after voting down efforts to tighten gun laws last week, Florida’s legislature is moving forward with a bill to put more guns in classrooms by allowing some teachers or staffs to carry guns. Similar bills are also being considered in Michigan, Oklahoma, and others.
What is the cause of such disconnect between the politicians and public opinion?
- Money-from pro-gun interest groups spent on lobbing and campaign contributions
- Gerrymandering-by Republicans over the past two decades, enabling them to maintain control of Congress and state legislatures
- Voice-of those wanting stronger gun laws are not as loud as those who want less gun laws
If Floridians want to see stronger gun laws, they will need to create Ballot Initiatives. In order to get a proposed amendment by initiative on the 2018 General Election ballot, a petition must be signed by 766,200 voters and the signatures must be from at least 14 of Florida’s 27 Congressional districts. Please refer to 2018 Initiative Petition Handbook. Bypassing the legislative process and taking the case directly to the people through statewide ballot initiative, marijuana legalization advocates won major victories. Florida, along with many other states with weak gun laws, would benefit from advocates adopting similar strategy, by going directly to the public/people, to all concerned parents, students of voting age, and all supportive citizens.
It is not easy to obtain the number of signatures required for a ballot initiative. But these students from Parkland, Florida have proven that they have the passion, tech savvy, manpower, and public support to carry out such a difficult task.
A bit of history on Ballot Initiative, below:
You may also be interested in these articles, below:
- “Never Again” Movement Is Sweeping Through The Country
- Flipping The House Is Necessary In Order To See Significant Gun Law Changes
- Florida Students, You Need Your Theme Song!
- Time To Learn From the Australian Experience In Gun Control
- Companies Are Severing Ties With NRA
- Trump’s Position To Combat School Shootings
- Florida Students & Activists Want To See Change In Florida Gun Law
- Peter Wang, Alaina Petty, and Martin Duque, Young Heros To Be Honored and Remembered
- National School Walkout on March 14 & March For Our Lives on March 24 in 2018!
- Trump Recommends That “Bump Stocks” Be Illegal
- Ben Dickmann, Florida Man Voluntarily Surrendered His AR-57 To Lead By Example
- A Time For Reflection
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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