After a mass shooting occurs in America, opponents of gun control often say it is “too soon” to talk about what political and social changes we need to make. This pattern persisted after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018, killing 14 students and three staff members. Immediately after the Parkland shooting, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said it was not an appropriate time to talk about gun control — although two days later he said that gun restrictions would not have prevented the shooting — and in a press conference, Paul Ryan said “this is not the time to jump to some conclusion not knowing the full facts.”
But the survivors of the shooting demanded to be heard right away. They insisted that politicians take action.
On the one-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting, let’s remember that instead of saying it’s too soon to seek change after a gun tragedy, the opposite is true. It’s too soon to forget the pain that gun violence causes; we should never let the urgency subside. As painful as it is to remember the Parkland shooting, we should recall the voices who spoke up to demand change in its aftermath, including those who organized and participated in the March For Our Lives rallies on March 24. We should remember their words today — and every day — until we pass comprehensive gun-control laws in this country.