Monday, Melania Trump used her first public speech of the 12 months to debate the Parkland, Florida, faculty capturing, which left 17 lifeless, and has since reignited a recurring dialog about gun management. Addressing the spouses of governors on the White Home, she mentioned: “Our continued thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by such a senseless act. As a parent, I cannot imagine the kind of grief a tragedy like that brings.”
Not like First Daughter Ivanka, Melania Trump has usually eschewed coverage debate, however her feedback fall into the actual narrative that so many Parkland survivors are rallying towards. Nearly two weeks in the past, the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College turned at the least the 17th faculty capturing this 12 months alone; within the time since, college students have moved past social media protest to instantly confronting lawmakers, organizing stay protests, and focusing on NRA linked companies and politicians. Having grown up in a local weather the place faculty shootings are rising startlingly extra lethal, the scholars of Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive are flat out refusing to just accept meaningless condolences that aren’t supported by actual motion within the type of stricter gun legal guidelines—the precise sort of condolences at present being provided by the First Woman of the US.
Whereas youngsters are taking motion and doing every part of their energy to maintain the subject of gun management within the nationwide consciousness, for grownup girl Melania Trump the trail to a future the place colleges shootings don’t turn into commonplace is someway infinitely much less clear. After praising the activism of youngsters throughout the nation, she appeared misplaced for a means ahead, saying yesterday, “I know we all find ourselves wondering what we can do to help.” Marvel no extra, Madame First Woman! Listed below are 5 easy issues the First Woman may do, if serving to stop the subsequent faculty bloodbath actually is her precedence. (And it ought to be, as a result of within the phrases of Parkland capturing survivor and gun-control advocate Emma González: “Now is the time to get on the right side . . . this is not something that we are going to let [you] sweep under the carpet.”)
1. Seize this chance and use your platform. Melania claims anti-bullying as her “cause,” but when Donald Trump Jr., preferred tweets labeling among the Parkland survivors ‘crisis actors’—which scholar Lauren Hogg says led to her being cyberbullied—the First Woman didn’t precisely leap into motion.
With nearly 10 million followers on Twitter, the First Woman is ready of giant affect; she’s already mentioned she was “heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create change”— so why doesn’t she attempt it herself? Perhaps we’re studying in between the traces right here, however her speech even known as for adults to encourage “positive habits with social media” and “take the lead” for youthful generations. No time like the current, Melania!
2. March for gun reform. The Parkland survivors have organized a rally, March for Our Lives, which has acquired donations from the likes of George and Amal Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Gucci, and can happen subsequent month in Washington, D.C., proper on the Trumps’ doorstep. Since Melania has admitted that the activism of teenagers throughout the nation has impressed her, the logical subsequent step can be to assist them when March 24 rolls round.
three. Communicate out. Donald Trump has spoken in favor of “comprehensive”—however not essentially common—background checks and the banning of bump shares (equipment used within the likes of the Las Vegas capturing which permit semiautomatic weapons to be fired like computerized weapons). Final week, he was reportedly in assist of accelerating the age restrict on sure weapons to 21, however he has failed to say it since. It’s usually the case that this president modifications his thoughts on main points (from well being care to immigration). The First Woman might not be one in every of his most trusted advisers, however contemplating Donald Trump’s opinions usually aspect with the particular person he spoke to final, she’s definitely in a superb place to attempt.
four. Assist a ban on assault-style rifles. Three of the 5 deadliest shootings in the US have occurred within the final 12 months and a half, and in at the least three of these, assault-style rifles have been used. Final 12 months, the household of AR-15 inventor Eugene Stoner got here ahead to say that he had by no means meant it for civilian use, however as a “military weapon.” Melania may assist a ban and even households like these of the Sandy Hook capturing victims who sued Remington, the maker of the Bushmaster rifle the shooter used, which they imagine expressly markets the gun to violent younger males.
5. Donate to a gun-reform group. An nameless donation could also be Melania’s most palatable possibility if she desires to assist however fears retribution from right-wing critics. Among the many many worthy teams on the frontlines of this problem: Everytown for Gun Security, which continues to make strides within the struggle to finish gun violence; Brady Marketing campaign to Forestall Gun Violence, which is working to chop gun deaths in half by 2025; Mothers Demand Motion for Gun Sense in America, which was shaped after the 2012 capturing at Sandy Hook Elementary College and lobbies legislators and educates younger folks about weapons. Melania may additionally proceed to assist the work of the youngsters affected by the Parkland capturing by donating to the March for Our Lives, the place 100 % of the proceeds will go towards organizing the March 24 protest. Each little bit helps!