The Texas Tribune wants to hear from young Texans about gun violence in America.
The national debate about the issue reignited Feb. 14, when a 19-year-old opened fire at a Parkland, Florida, high school, in an attack that left 17 people dead. Amid the grief, many people renewed calls for stricter gun control laws and more thorough background checks for people who want to purchase firearms.
On Wednesday, Florida lawmakers sent a gun control bill to Gov. Rick Scott that would raise the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21. The measure would also set up a program that allows school employees and some teachers to carry handguns if certain conditions are met.
Some top Texas top officials have also discussed steps to take. U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Gov. Greg Abbott have pushed for revamping the national background check system for purchasing firearms. Abbott also wrote a letter to the Texas Education Agency, outlining steps state education leaders should take to prevent similar tragedies. And U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, recently advocated for funding metal detectors in schools.
A recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows that Texas voters overwhelmingly support mental and criminal background checks on all gun purchases in the United States — including gun shows and private sales. But it also highlighted a divide between the views of older and younger voters on how strict gun laws should be.
Survivors of the Parkland shooting are demanding elected officials take action. On March 24, several of those teenagers are organizing marches across the country calling for tighter gun control laws in the hopes that Congress will act to pass gun safety reform measures.
As part of our ongoing efforts to engage people directly affected by policy issues, we want to learn more about how young Texans feel about gun violence and what measures, if any, they think should be taken to address mass shootings and school safety.
So, we're asking young Texans, including high schoolers and college students: What steps do you think should be taken to reduce gun violence in America? Please fill out the form below, submit your video and a reporter may be in touch.
Note that questions with asterisks are required to answer. We would like to feature your voices on our Instagram and Snapchat accounts and in an upcoming story; to include a video response, simply upload it below or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or let us know if you’d like to do a Skype interview with one of our reporters in your submission below. Please remember to introduce yourself, telling us your name and where you go to school in your recording. We will be following up with you if we use your response. If you're younger than 18, we will need a parent or guardian's permission before we can use your submission.
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Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.