Omari Hardy is fighting to:
- Make our neighborhoods safe.
- Prevent mass shootings.
- Treat gun violence as a public health emergency and end cycles of retaliatory violence.
Florida’s Republican leaders have a uniquely shameful record on gun violence. Between 2012 and 2016, they watched four different gunmen in three different states kill a combined 46 people, and injure another 96, in three separate mass shootings, each of which was a warning to them that without common sense gun reforms, the same could happen here. But rather than putting Floridians first and passing common sense gun reforms, Florida’s Republican leaders took their marching orders from Marion Hammer and the NRA and blocked every effort to reform our gun laws and make Florida safer.
They watched 12 people die and 70 people get shot in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting in 2012, and they did nothing.
Later that year, they watched 20 children and 7 adults die in a tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and still, they did nothing.
In 2015, they watched 14 people die and 24 more get shot at a government building in San Bernardino, California, and still, they did nothing.
And then Pulse happened. On June 12th, 2016, 49 people were killed and 58 more were injured in a horrific mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, in our state, the state Florida’s Republican leaders were elected to make safe, and still, they did nothing.
The very next year, Florida’s Republican leaders watched a shooter in Las Vegas kill 58 people and shoot another 413, and still, they sat on their hands.
Then they watched a shooter in Sutherland Springs, Texas kill 26 people in a church, and they continued to sit on their hands.
And then Parkland happened. On February 14th, 2018, in the middle Florida’s legislative session, a teenager took an Uber to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people in seven minutes, and the dam broke, and Florida’s Republican leaders calculated that after watching school children get shot and murdered in other states, and after watching 49 of their own citizens die in a mass shooting in their state, they could not watch 17 more people get mowed down in the state they control, not in the middle of the legislative session, and not without doing something to stem the tide of gun violence. So they passed legislation. But what did they pass?
The victims, and their families, asked legislators to ban assault weapons. They also opposed allowing teachers to carry guns on school campuses. So Florida’s Republican leaders passed a law allowing teachers to carry guns on school campuses, and they rejected every effort to ban assault weapons.
Florida’s Republican leaders are like people on Wall Street: they learn nothing and forget everything. They witnessed two mass shootings in Florida, yet they denied all common sense, and refused to enact a ban on weapons of war. Instead, they enacted a law that increases the number of guns on school campuses and makes our children less safe.
Floridians deserve better, and Democrats deserve leaders who will not vote with Republicans to maintain Florida’s dangerous status quo on gun violence.
Unlike his opponent, Omari will never vote with Republicans to leave our dangerous gun laws unreformed. And unlike his opponent, he will fight not only to end mass shootings but to address the day-to-day gun violence that afflicts our communities in District 88.
Omari knows that while the national faces of gun violence may be the courageous survivors of the Parkland massacre, the faces of gun violence in District 88 are of a different hue. The faces of gun violence in District 88 are the faces of young black men who were killed in shootings that did not make national news. They are the faces of mothers and grandmothers who have buried sons and grandsons, the victims of a gun violence crisis that affected our community long before Parkland, long before Pulse, long before Aurora, and long before Columbine, a crisis that affects our community still.
Omari is committed to addressing both sides of the gun violence crisis – the mass shootings that have led the pastors in our community to hire security, and the neighborhood shootings that terrorize us where we live.
As your state representative, Omari will propose legislation to:
- Repeal “shoot first” laws, like Stand Your Ground.
- Require background checks for all gun and ammunition sales.
- Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
- Tax gun and ammunition sales and create a gun violence reduction trust fund.
- Fund “violence interrupters” to (1) identify those involved in neighborhood shootings and (2) mediate conflicts before the shootings multiply.
- Fund innovative ShotSpotter technology that locates gunfire within seconds of someone firing a gun.
- Permanently bar domestic abusers from owning guns.