Inaction Got Us Here. It's Time To Protect Our Children. #NeverAgain

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Sponsor: The Literacy Site

Take action and help us end the tragic cycle of gun violence in schools.


The statistics don't lie; as many as 90 Americans are killed every day in violent incidents of gun violence [1].

Among those, many are school children, not yet old enough to vote or join the military.

Following the Feb. 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and 14 injured [2], a large number of Americans called for more stringent regulations around assault weapons. But, lawmakers have responded just as they did after Colorado Springs [2], just as they did after San Bernadino [2], and just as they did after Sandy Hook [2].

They did nothing.

The list of tragedies goes on and on, and will continue to, unless action is taken.

One such action is the establishment of the "Fix NICS Act" introduced in 2017 by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). The bill aims to strengthen the efforts made in researching the criminal histories of those looking to buy firearms, efforts that could have prevented the Texas First Baptist Church shooting [3].

Another measure has been introduced by the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The "Assault Weapons Ban of 2017" will prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, if passed [4].

Gun violence is a problem wherever it occurs, but the impact of such tragedies when children are involved is undoubtedly much greater. Those who live through violent incidents don't always emerge unscathed. School districts in which gun violence has resulted in one or more deaths are more likely to experience depression among students, decreased enrollment, and lower test scores [1].

Over 150,000 students in the U.S. from 170 different schools have been affected by gun violence firsthand since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 [7]. In a plea to end years of inaction, survivors, students, and allies of those affected by mass shootings have banded together under the hashtag #neveragain.

Their cry for mercy has not gone unnoticed, and hope lies in the passage of measures like the Fix NICS Act and the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, which would require stricter levels of documentation and accountability, as well as preventing initiatives from those involved in the buying and selling of dangerous weapons [3].

Sign this petition and stand with the millions of others who believe that violence in schools should not be normalized, and demand a safer life for our children.

MORE ON THIS ISSUE

[1] Everytown for Gun Safety, "290 School Shootings In America Since 2013" Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://everytownresearch.org/school-shootings/.

[2] Mark Follman, Gavin Aronsen, and Deanna Pan (2018, February 14), "US Mass Shootings, 1982-2018: Data From Mother Jones’ Investigation." Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data/.

[3] Emily Tillett (2018, February 19), "After Florida shooting, what's the status of the "Fix NICS" bill?" Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/after-florida-shooting-whats-the-status-of-the-fix-nics-bill/.

[4] Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), "Assault Weapons Ban 5 of 2017." Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/f/d/fdca734c-4855-49f3-aa1d-2ed02e791d6d/E5ECBD1B1D722D5C4AEDAEBB6276AB36.awb-bill-text.pdf.

[5] United States Senator for California Dianne Feinstein (2017, November 8), "Senators Introduce Assault Weapons Ban." Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=8B3E8400-766E-4B5E-B59B-C800BB52A973.

[6] Serena Lei (2014), "Everyday violence: Gunfire near DC schools." Retrieved February 21, 2018, from http://datatools.urban.org/features/everydayviolence/.

[7] John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich(2018, February 15), "No, there haven’t been 18 school shootings in 2018. That number is flat wrong." Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/no-there-havent-been-18-school-shooting-in-2018-that-number-is-flat-wrong/2018/02/15/65b6cf72-1264-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.cda23dcdc3e9.

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The Petition:

Dear Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Dianne Feinstein,

Along with millions of other Americans, I stand with you in support of the Fix NICS Act and the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, two bills which I believe are necessary in stemming gun violence in schools.

Far too many people have died, and far too many of them children, to justify one more day of inaction from policymakers, who can easily prevent further tragedy by strengthening assault weapon regulations.

Over 150,000 students in the United States from 170 different schools have been affected by gun violence firsthand since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.

Those who live through violent incidents do not always emerge unscathed. School districts in which gun violence has resulted in one or more deaths are more likely to experience depression among students, decreased enrollment, and lower test scores.

It's awful to imagine our children being forced to face an armed assailant on their own, but until action is taken, that's exactly what has been happening. In the absence of a protective measure, survivors, students, and allies of those affected by mass shootings have banded together under the hashtag #neveragain.

There have been many suggestions for how to stem school shootings, but we need a method that goes beyond addressing mere symptoms of a greater issue. Guns are winding up in the hands of people who should not have them. The regulations are lax enough to allow people with histories of mental illness and violence to obtain weapons and use them.

I demand we make a change, pass the Fix NICS Act and the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, and keep those weapons out of the hands of those who would use them for evil.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: