After Ryan Petty’s 14-year-old daughter Alaina Petty was killed in the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, he has devoted himself to supporting legislative reforms that he believes will help protect other families from experiencing the same pain he has.
“After every school shooting the conversation inevitably moves to gun control, but each side is entrenched in their positions, the moment passes, and nothing gets done,” Petty told me in an interview for The Daily Beast earlier this month.
“This time must be different,” Petty said emphatically, a phrase that would become his mantra. “This time will be different, because we are going to focus on school safety and keeping guns away from those who would hurt themselves or others.”
As numerous writers have covered here at RedState, media coverage of the Parkland shooting and response afterwards has often appeared slanted, with attention and praise lavished on the pro-gun control students and far less attention paid to those who seek solutions that don’t center on restricting Second Amendment rights.
The most recent TIME Magazine cover was an example of this, featuring five students, all of whom have voiced liberal, pro-gun control opinions in the weeks since the shooting.
As RedState’s Brandon Morse observed, there’s a “completely ignored part of Parkland” missing from this cover that isn’t just calling for stricter gun control, like student Kyle Kashuv, “who has been largely ghosted by the media currently fawning over his anti-gun peers.”
Also missing from the cover: Ryan Petty or any of the other family members of the other Parkland victims.
That doesn’t seem to bother Petty very much. After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act passed earlier this month in Florida, Petty, Kashuv, and other Parkland family members turned their focus on Congress, supporting the STOP School Violence Act sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). That bill just passed the House this week, as part of the omnibus spending bill, and then the Senate a little after midnight last night. It is now headed for President Donald Trump’s desk for signature.
In two tweets posted after the omnibus passed the Senate, Petty summed up what he and the other Parkland families have accomplished: the Florida bill, which has already been used to temporarily seize guns from those deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others; he and two other Parkland fathers appointed by Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) to the newly created Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission; and at the federal level, the STOP School Violence Act passed and several other legislative reforms making good progress forward.
MSD Victims Families Legislative Actions
—MSD School Safety Act — Passed in 3 weeks
—Risk Protection Orders used 3x already
—First gun safety legislation passed in 22 years in FL
— 3 Family members appointed Florida HS Safety Commission
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) March 23, 2018
1. STOP School Violence Act — passed
2. Fix NICS act — passed
3. Red Flag bill — introduced this week
4. ABC Act — introduced this week
4. MSD Memorial Act — in draft
No @time to pose. We are marching for y/our kids lives.
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) March 23, 2018
“No @time to pose,” tweeted Petty. “We are marching for y/our kids lives.”
No TIME to pose. Well said.
Petty’s priorities are in the right place. In the end, all the legislation and tweets and magazine covers and protests won’t bring back any of the seventeen students and teachers who were murdered last month in Parkland. But out of that list, it’s the legislative reforms championed by Petty, Kashuv, and other Parkland families that will have the greatest impact in ensuring that Petty’s vow that “this time will be different” stays true.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.