Statement by PAGV Co-Chairs on One-Year Anniversary of Mass School Shooting in Parkland, Florida

In the aftermath of this horrific shooting, we stood together with Parkland kids on Capitol Hill to demand action.

One of the courageous young people who spoke that day was Aalayah Eastmond, who was in her Holocaust Studies class when the shooting began. Aalayah fell to the classroom floor pretending to be shot, but the gunfire continued. In desperation, she pulled the body of a deceased classmate over her own, trying to shield herself from the bullets that never seemed to stop.

Congress has abdicated its responsibility to Aalayah and so many others who have been forced to grapple firsthand with life-altering gun violence.

Thanks to the hard work of bipartisan legislators across the country, including Congressman Mike Thompson in California and Congressman Peter King in New York, we finally have an opportunity to take a step forward by passing HR 8, which would require universal background checks. According to a Quinnipiac Poll, 97% of Americans support this life-saving measure.

Join us in calling your Congressional representatives in the House and Senate, and urging them to support this much-needed bill.

It’s time. Let’s honor Parkland by taking action.


Earlier this week, PAGV held a summit on “Kids and Guns” in Houston, Texas, with presentations on safe storage, safe schools, mental health, and mobilizing young people to advocate for strong gun laws. Read more here.