House Democrats are seeking to hire Parkland students involved in gun-control activism to intern at their offices for the summer.
Many of the student survivors of the mass shooting that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have committed themselves to gun-control advocacy, organizing demonstrations, calling for gun-industry boycotts, and making frequent media appearances to advance their agenda.
“We think it would be a great experience for them to be on the Hill to see exactly how things operate — or doesn’t [sic], to some degree — but also to have time with these very special young people that have experienced something that none of us ever want to have experienced. And I think we can learn from each other,” House Democratic Caucus chairman Joe Crowley, who is helping lead the effort, told NBC News.
Crowley, along with Democratic representatives Linda Sanchez and Mike Thompson of California and Ted Deutch of Florida, will send a letter this week to colleagues asking that they open their offices to the young activists.
“I would be thrilled if a significant number of them came up here and spent the summer helping to learn the system better so they will be even more effective advocates going forward,” said Deutch, who represents the district where the Parkland shooting occurred.
Lawmakers are reportedly hopeful that the students’ presence on Capitol Hill will help the renewed push for gun control — one that has produced no significant legislative reform since the Parkland shooting thrust it to the fore of the national conversation.
“They will have opportunities to interact with people who don’t agree with them,” Rep Crowley said. “I think they will all learn from the experience, even folks who don’t agree with them will hopefully learn from them being here and vice versa.”