Help vote out the Florida legislators who voted against opening debate on a bill that would have banned assault weapons in their state.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School is located in Parkland, Florida. The Valentine’s Day 2018 massacre killed 17 and injured at least 14.
The first relevant bill to come up in the Florida legislature following the MSD shooting was HB 219, an assault weapons ban sponsored by Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, a Democrat from Orlando, site of the Pulse nightclub attack in 2017, which killed 50. The killers in both the MSD attack and the Orlando incident used semi-automatic weapons, which are often called “assault weapons”.
The vote, conducted on February 20, 2018, was about moving the bill from the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee to the House floor, so the full legislative body could begin debate.
The vote split along party lines: 36 Democrats voted yes, and 71 Republicans voted no. (Ten others did not vote, and three seats in the Florida house are currently empty.)
Some students from MSD were present in the chamber for the vote.
They already knew that federal-level representatives were not the only thing standing in the way of saner gun laws, but this was cold, hard proof of the fact.
The day after the vote, MSD shooting survivor and senior David Hogg (@davidhogg111) tweeted, “Hope you guys enjoyed being Politicians! “, and included a screenshot showing the name of each Florida house member and how they voted on whether to move HB 219 ahead.
If you live in Florida, please check this list and see how your state House rep voted. Call them or email them to thank them if they voted yes or scorn them if they voted no. If you don’t live in Florida, watch for campaigns by Sister District, Flippable, and Postcards to Voters (Tony the Democrat’s effort) that target Florida House candidates.
Every single member of Florida’s House will be up for re-election in November. Identify those who need to be voted out, and do what you can to make that happen.
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See the full roll call for how the Florida House voted on the question of moving HB 219 forward on February 20, 2018:
Here’s another story on the same topic, but with contact info for each of the 71 Florida House reps who voted no:
And here’s a New York Times piece on how righteously pissed-off MSD students are pressuring the hell out of Florida Republicans. It includes a photo of MSD students watching the February 20, 2018 vote:
A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.
The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest imposition on ownership of guns in America.
That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.
So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.
We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.
We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.
OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.
We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.
If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.
Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.
#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.