The students behind March for Our Lives have released a bold Peace Plan for a Safer America designed to shift the conversations that our elected officials are having over gun violence, leading up to the 2020 elections. The March for Our Lives Peace Plan hopes to rally a broad base of support from the public, regardless of political persuasion, behind the shared interest we all have in addressing gun violence.
The March for Our Lives 2020 Peace Plan lays out several key goals that it will pursue through policymaking in order to reduce gun violence. The ultimate aim is to cut the death rate from gun violence in half within the decade — the equivalent of 200,000 lives saved — by declaring and treating gun violence as a national emergency. To better address the emergency, the Peace Plan demands that a new national position be created: Director of Gun Violence Prevention. This position will report directly to the President of the U.S. and oversee a quarter of a billion dollars worth of gun violence research each year.
Federal funding should also address the intersectionality of gun violence by addressing mental health, domestic violence, suicide, and police reform. “We are really setting audacious goals,” Tyah-Amoy Roberts, a Parkland survivor told the Washington Post. “And more than anything, what we are seeking to do is be intersectional. We know and acknowledge every day that gun violence prevention is not just about preventing mass shootings.”
From a legislative standpoint, the Peace Plan calls for a national licensing and gun registry, universal background checks, restrictions against the purchase of weapons used in combat scenarios, and raises the age at which one can purchase a gun from 18 to 21. It further aims to improve the accountability of policymakers and the gun industry through a reexamination of the 2nd amendment.
The plan also sets out to investigate whether the NRA has violated any campaign finance laws and if it should be able to maintain a tax-exempt status. Earlier this month, a report revealed that the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, had been on the hunt for a multi-million dollar mansion that he intended to purchase using NRA funds in the weeks after the Parkland shooting; the mansion would have essentially functioned as a high-security hide out for him and his wife, a purchase that potentially would have violated the company’s tax-exempt status.
Lastly, the Peace Plan necessarily mobilizes the youth. Eligible voters will automatically be registered to vote once they turn 18. The plan also endeavors to create a Safety Corps, fashioned after the Peace Corps, that would offer one year of paid, living wage work for 16 to 25 year olds who want to do their part to further criminal justice reform and anti-poverty initiatives. “The election is over the minute young people decide to turn out. The only reason that Trump would get reelected is if young people stay home,” observed Senator Chris Murphy when speaking with the Post. “The issue of gun violence is one of the only issues that truly motivates young people to shake off their indifference and aversion to voting.”