Wednesday’s shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hit home for Jeremy Ring — literally.
The former state senator and Democratic chief financial officer candidate lives less than a mile from where America’s latest gun massacre took place. Ring became angry that in all the statements and news releases from Republicans over the previous 24 hours, none supported gun reform.
“All I’ve heard is that it’s not the time to talk about it. YES IT IS!!!” Ring wrote in a message to supporters Thursday.
“I watched yesterday’s events take place less than 1 mile from my home. I watched in disbelief, I watched in sadness, and for sure, I watched in anger.
“In anger, because the gun lobby owns too many of our elected officials. In anger because as a nation, we refuse to treat mental health the same way we would treat cancer or heart disease.
“In anger, because we are constantly missing warning signs that could help prevent horrific tragedies.
“In anger, because we live in a society where students have to learn drills on how to duck in their classroom in case of a tragedy like Parkland.
“In anger, because our schools are becoming human shooting galleries.
“In anger, because too many in our society have removed fundamental common-sense lines between a hunting rifle and an AR15.
“In anger, because too many people refuse to understand when our founding fathers penned the Second Amendment, they weren’t considering AK47’s and M16’s.
“In anger, because “never forget” doesn’t apply to mass shootings until the next one will inevitably occur.
“In anger, because no other first world nation is so susceptible to these horrific events and no other government in any other first world nation does less to decrease this epidemic and in the case of the United States, even recognize it as a solvable issue.”
Ring added that a crisis like the massacre in Parkland requires leadership and action, not just “thoughts and prayers.”
Florida is nationally known for being one of the most gun and NRA friendly state legislatures in the nation, and the only policy prescription to emerge so far Thursday has been a statement by Republican state senators to support appropriation of $100 million for mental health screening, counseling and training, as well as the hardening of schools in the K-12 budget.
The proposal had already been brought forward by Naples Republican Senator Kathleen Passidomo in the Senate education budget.