In the wake of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Town of Chapel Hill is once again flying its orange gun violence awareness flag outside of Peace and Justice Plaza as local elected officials are pleading for “sensible” gun laws.
Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger says that the orange flag is meant to show support for and solidarity with the victims and their families.
“Ninety-six Americans are killed every day [due to gun violence], and a quarter of those are kids,” said Hemminger. “We’ve got to make sure our teachers, our staff, our children and our families feel safe going to schools.”
Hemminger mentions stricter background checks and increased waiting periods as a few measures she supports in the fight against gun violence.
Representative for North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District David Price is also advocating for background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
“It is extremely distressing that we haven’t been able to do even the common sense things that we know would make a difference,” said Price. “I would say leading that list would be a system of background checks so people just don’t get weapons if they have a history of domestic abuse, or serious mental illness, or criminal behavior.”
Price says a lack of cooperation from Republican lawmakers has made it difficult to enact positive change through legislation at the federal level.
“Republicans have just been AWOL,” said Price. “They have not been available for any kind of constructive work here.”
Price says that one idea that is getting some bipartisan support is gun violence restraining orders, which have been adopted by several states.
“In other words, tailoring restraining orders to the presence of guns, someone’s possession of guns or a demonstration that they shouldn’t have guns,” said Price. “That gives you some way of intervening in a situation.”
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore also announced a committee to come up with plans to improve school safety in the state. Orange County Democratic House Representative Verla Insko is a member of the committee.
Photo via Town of Chapel Hill