The nation was fixated over the weekend on the hundreds of thousands who came out to March for stricter gun control. But now that the marches are over, everyone’s wondering if the enthusiasm and the pressure on Congress will last.
Cambridge state representative Marjorie Decker says she’s hopeful.
Two days after attending her local “March For Our Lives“ rally, Decker says she’s not wondering if this call for stronger gun laws is different. She knows it is: “It is probably one of the most exciting things I have seen in my political life in 20 years.”
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Decker, who has filed an extreme risk protection order bill, under consideration now on Beacon Hill, credits the smart, policy oriented approach being taken by the nation’s young people: “They’re learning about it, there advocating for it, they are voicing it and I think we’re going to see a generation that has been our best hope.”
Natick State Representative David Linsky says it is definitely different. The long time gun control advocate, sees it in the latest national poll numbers where more than 70% want tougher gun laws, and more than 90% support extreme risk protective orders and universal background checks. Linsky adds,
“We know that Congress is not going to act here. It’s going to fall on state legislatures and Governors around the country to set gun policy because Congress quite frankly refuses to deal with this issue.”
Which is why the real test is not so much in Massachusetts which already has the strictest gun laws in the country - but are minds being changed on Capitol Hill?
Congressman James McGovern says yes: “This is precisely why the speaker of the house will not bring anything to the floor for debate. Because he knows that this movement of young people is actually making a difference among some of his own members.”
And young people in Massachusetts are not backing off. Somerville teens and their allies are planning a student walk out lobby day on Beacon Hill Wednesday.
"The guy walked in, he had the gun up to his chest, didn't point it at her but showed it to her," said Salisbury. "He said 'Just do as I say,' he called her 'honey' and 'sweetie.' 'Do what I say and I'll be out of here in a few minutes.'"
Police believe the suspect is parking a getaway vehicle a short distance from the targets, walking into the businesses, then running back to his car with the cash.
Lt. Martin is asking anyone who lives near the targeted areas to double check surveillance footage for any suspicious people or cars.
"This is a desperate person who more than likely will continue what he's doing," said Lt. Martin. "Eventually something is coming to happen. There could be an armed confrontation."