On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, the Office of the President cohosted the first in a series of events tackling major political issues in the run-up to the 2020 US elections. The event, which focused on gun violence and gun control legislation in America, was organized in collaboration with the American Church in Paris; the Newtown Remembrance Action Committee; AUP’s History, Law and Society Executive Board; and several AUP student-organizers. Held in the week of the second anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida – in which 17 people were murdered and 17 others injured – the event saw Parkland survivor Delaney Tarr, a prominent gun reform activist with the March for Our Lives movement, present the organization’s new gun reform policy document, Peace Plan for a Safer America.
After an introduction by President Celeste M. Schenck, who spoke of the importance of young Americans voting in the 2020 primaries and general election, Delaney Tarr presented the history of the March for Our Lives movement, established following the Parkland shooting. “We weren’t willing to sit back and let others capitalize on our grief without doing something about it,” she said. Tarr also emphasized the need for democratic participation from young people in order to push for change: “If we wanted a congress that would work for us, we had to get them elected.” Following her talk, Tarr took questions from the audience. Student organizers then led discussions on the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates’ gun control policies and on how to get involved in campaign movements while in Paris. The Reverend Dr. Scott Herr of the American Church in Paris provided closing remarks.
You can watch the video of the entire event below.