Today we mourn the deaths of 19 children and 2 teachers in Uvalde, Texas. It was the deadliest school shooting in the state’s history, nearly the worst in U.S. history,and it was the second mass shooting in America this week. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families that lost their children yesterday and to the communities reeling from senseless and unfathomable loss.
A horror like yesterday’s massacre brings the reality of gun violence to our hearts and minds in technicolor. But it is not just yesterday or last week. Our hearts break for the 110 people who lost their lives to gun violence each day in 2020- the majority of them Black and Brown young men. We grieve for those families and neighborhoods as well.
In our gun-obsessed culture, we have prioritized the right to have unfettered access to firearms over the lives of our own children. We no longer live in a free country - freedom is the expectation that you can send your kids to school, or the store or down the block and know that they’ll return home safely each day. Today, no parent in America has that certainty.
This is not normal. It does not have to be this way. No other developed country comes close to this level of gun violence. And no other country comes close to allowing guns to be purchased and carried with as few restrictions as this country does.
What will be the result of 19 more innocent children shot dead in their classrooms? The answer will be not nearly enough unless we finally hold our elected leaders accountable and demand change. Each and every one of us has a part to play in ending gun violence and the only way to honor these victims is through actions, not words.
Robb Elementary School could be any school in Vermont. Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo could be your local grocery store. The time for passive activism is over. All of us are responsible for taking action and demanding change.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement from GunSense Vermont Executive Director Conor Casey on the Veto of S.30
Today, Governor Scott had the opportunity to stand with the 74 percent of Vermonters who support the need for common sense gun legislation. Instead, he chose to side with a vocal minority who oppose any steps towards reducing gun violence in our state.
Banning firearms in hospitals is the very least we could have done to protect our healthcare providers, who have done so much over the pandemic to keep us safe. And closing the “Charleston Loophole” would have been a logical extension of the background check legislation the governor signed in 2018. How either of these items warrant a veto defies reason from a leader who only four years ago said, “today we choose action, over inaction. Doing something, over doing nothing.”
GunSense Vermont wishes to thank the General Assembly for having the courage to pass lifesaving legislation in the midst of this national crisis. We are also grateful for the many, many Vermonters who contacted Governor Scott last week asking him to do the right thing and sign the bill.
While we are disappointed with this outcome, the cause endures and our nearly 4,000 members will continue fighting to prevent another tragedy. Whether it be in the halls of the State House or on the campaign trail, we refuse to accept political inaction when so many lives are at stake.
GunSense Vermont is a grassroots organization that is part of a growing movement nationwide to stem the epidemic of gun violence. The United States suffers more than 35,000 gun deaths annually, far surpassing any other developed country. Our members recognize that gun violence is a public health crisis, and we are demanding that our elected officials take meaningful action to address it.Read more
In this issue...
- A handy "HOW TO" on calling your state legislators
- The Vermont bills that we're watching closely, and what you can do
- Contact Gov. Scott about waiting periods for gun purchases
- Attorney General TJ Donovan signs on to multistate ghost gun suit
- Encouraging news from Virginia
- Take the leap before leap day--become a sustaining member
There has never been a more important time to support work at the state level. See where we're headed in 2020.
Movement on the federal bipartisan background checks bill has stalled out indefinitely and the gridlock in Washington is unlikely to abate long enough to introduce any new gun violence prevention legislation. As we continue to advocate for improved community resources and support here at home, we must simultaneously address the easy access to guns that can turn a difficult situation into a deadly one. That's where GunSense comes in.Read more
- Unitarian Universalist Society Burlington fundraiser
- What's in store under the Golden Dome
- GunSense files amicus brief in favor of upholding large capacity magazine ban
- GunSense survey results
The National Landscape:
- Democratic candidates--who supports which measures?
- Vermont keeps moving forward while federal gun bills sit