DNC chair on Florida school shooting: 'This is not normal'

DNC chair on Florida school shooting: 'This is not normal'
© Greg Nash

Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, on Wednesday called for lawmakers to address the rash of school shootings that has long roiled the country, following the latest incident at a Florida high school.

Perez's comments came after the Broward County shooting reportedly left 17 people dead. Police have taken the suspect, a former student at the school, into custody. 

“We have seen these atrocities too many times before," Perez said in a statement. "This is not normal. This is not acceptable. This is not inevitable. It’s long past time for our leaders to stop pretending we are helpless in the face of such tragedy."

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SWAT teams evacuated students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday after a shooter opened fire on the campus.

The school shooting in Parkland is one of several that has taken place in the opening months of 2018. The gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety puts that number at 18.  

“No child should be afraid to go to school. No American should be afraid to go to work or their place of worship. No one in this country should be afraid to go to a shopping mall or baseball field, night club or movie theater, concert or college campus," Perez said.

"We must come together as Americans and do everything we can to ensure that horrific attacks like this become a thing of the past," he added. 

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which advocates for stricter gun control laws, condemned the shooting in Parkland, decrying that such violence is the "current reality in America."

"Kids and educators deserve to be safe, and parents shouldn't worry that their children will be shot at school. We know stronger gun laws reduce gun violence," she said.

"Every American must commit to taking action to end gun violence — we must demand more than 'thoughts and prayers' from our lawmakers, and they must find the courage to be part of the solution and finally put a stop to this."