The first sign waving will be on Thursday, April 25th from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at the intersection of 580 and McMullen Booth, near Countryside High School. We will be waving signs across the street from the school in front of Verizon and Flapjacks.
The focus of the first sign waving will be on Representative Gus Bilirakis’ recent vote against a bipartisan bill that would require background checks on every gun sale, including private sales online or at gun shows. (with some exceptions) Right now, only licensed gun dealers are required to conduct a background check.
UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS:
Did you know that more than 85% of Americans want background checks on every gun sale? Some polls say 90%! Help us inform the voters of Pinellas that Bilirakis just voted against their wishes and their safety.
Read about how background checks reduce crime and save lives. https://everytownresearch.org/
GUN DEATHS IN THE US
US Gun deaths are 25 times the average of other developed countries. This includes 7 children and teens a day. A DAY.
There have been over 2000 mass shootings since Sandy Hook and we have had “57 times as many school shootings as the other major industrialized nations combined.” https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/
Another consequence of our legislators’ refusal to enact the kind of common sense gun control that works in other countries is that our children now participate in traumatic active shooter drills in school and, in Florida, teachers may soon be armed.
Here is a link to a video of an active shooter drill in a school https://www.youtube.com/watch?
We must act NOW.
We will be sign waving on a regular basis from now until the election to share with voters the real-life, devastating consequences of Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ and Rep. Chris Sprowls’ votes and/or inaction on many issues including gun deaths, healthcare, and the environment. We will discuss the frequency of the sign waving at the first event (once a month, twice a month? etc.) We will also move our location from time to time and this event listing will be updated with the new locations.
So that our message is clear, each sign waving event will be focused on one issue and one legislator. As stated above, the focus for the first sign waving will be on Representative Gus Bilirakis and his record on gun violence in the US. Therefore, please make sure that his name is on every sign.
Here is an article about the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019: https://www.npr.org/2019/02/
Rep. Bilirakis also voted against the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. https://www.jurist.org/news/
And against the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. https://www.vox.com/2019/4/4/
He also opposes an Assault Weapons Ban and in 2017, he voted for a bill that would weaken gun control that is already in place. This bill “would allow residents from the 12 states where there are no requirements whatsoever for legal gun owners to carry concealed firearms to carry concealed guns in the other 38 states that normally require permits.” https://thehill.com/blogs/
Later in the year we will focus on Bilirakis’ vote for the Republican health care bill (American Health Care Act), which gave insurance companies a path to charge more to people with pre-existing conditions and which luckily did not pass in the Senate. We will then address other Bilirakis issues and move on to Sprowls.
“Americans of high-school age are 82 times more likely to die from a gun homicide than 15- to 19-year-olds in the rest of the developed world.”
“US firearm homicide rates were 25 times higher and overall homicide rates were 7.5 times higher than rates in the other high-income countries (2015). https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/
Over 2000 mass shootings have occurred since Sandy Hook. https://www.vox.com/a/mass-
Link to Vote Smart’s record of Bilirakis recent votes: https://votesmart.org/