Background Checks Bill Introduced One Year After Parkland Shooting

Feb 14, 2019

It has been one year since the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students and staff members were killed, 17 others were injured. The tragedy sparked student demonstrations nationwide and launched the March for Our Lives movement protesting gun violence.

One of the students shot and killed in Parkland was Jamie Guttenberg, whose aunt Abbie Youkilis is a local physician. Dr. Youkilis became the faculty adviser for UC’s SAFE chapter after her family's tragedy. SAFE, or Scrubs Addressing the Firearm Epidemic, treats gun violence as a public health problem and seeks evidence-based solutions.

It's not the only group in which doctors are speaking out about gun violence. When the National Rifle Association tweeted "Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane," Trauma surgeon Dr. Joseph Sakran created the Twitter page @ThisIsOurLane. The page has attracted the attention of ER doctors nationwide who have shared their stories of treating gunshot wound victims.

Also this month, for the first time in years, the House Judiciary Committee held a gun violence prevention. House Democrats have introduced a bill to require background checks for all firearm sales and most firearm transfers. The Bipartisan Background Checks Act, H.R. 8, is named for former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who nearly died in a mass shooting outside an Arizona supermarket on January 8, 2011.

Here in Cincinnati, community leaders will remember the victims of the Parkland shooting at a vigil at Christ Church on February 16. The keynote speaker is Ethel Guttenberg, whose granddaughter Jaime was killed in the shooting. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval are scheduled to speak.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the push for gun control legislation are Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Abbie Youkilis; Brown University Department of Emergency Medicine Associate Professor and AFFIRM Chief Research Officer Dr. Megan Ranney (@meganranney); University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Second-year Medical Student and UC SAFE organizer Mara Nickel; Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval (@AftabPureval); Young Activist Coalition Leader Rasleen Krupp; and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Local Group Lead Michele Mueller (@hilarybama).

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