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To: Members Of Congress
Back-to-School Should Not Look Like This
Dear Members Of Congress:
Back-to-School Should Not Look Like This.
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), started by families who lost young children in the school massacre in Newtown, CT, just released a powerful new public service announcement. It is penetrating and unforgiving.
By mocking the ubiquitous back-to-school ads that characterize this time of year, they show the real face of gun violence in a country that last year had 110 school shootings with 61 deaths. Think of that: Dozens of children who went to school to learn did not make it home at the end of the day. More than 228,000 students in the United States have lived through gun violence at school since Columbine in 1999.
Within 24 hours, the Sandy Hook Promise PSA had 26 million views. We need to bombard congress with this PSA. Share the Sandy Hook Promise PSA with your Congressional Senators and Representatives. (It’s easy . . . we’ll tell you how below.)
Watch the PSA. It is vital that we all—and our children—Know The Signs. That would go a long way in stopping many types of gun injuries and deaths, especially suicides, which are at epidemic proportions among teens.
But this is not enough.
One of the great travesties of the gun violence culture in America is that mass shootings are the new normal. Across the nation, back-to-school means training a new generation in how to survive an active shooter incident. After each mass shooting, our elected officials fail to use their collective legislative power to prevent future gun atrocities.
Why is this important?
Members of Congress have the power to end gun violence through common sense gun safety reforms. Assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and bump stocks serve no purpose other than to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. They need to be banned. We need a license to drive a car and to get married. It’s long past time for a federal gun licensing program that would require not only comprehensive universal background checks, but the legal requirement that all guns be sold through licensed dealers.
Senate bill S.42, introduced back in January to strengthen background checks, is stalled by Republican leadership which refuses to bring it up for a vote. No matter our political affiliation, we must all insist this bill move through the process immediately.
Gun violence ought not be a partisan issue. Rural and urban, conservative to progressive—we are all vulnerable to gun violence and we must all be part of a serious, sustained, comprehensive response to this public health crisis.
We implore all people of faith and conscience to share the Sandy Hook PSA with your Senators and Representatives and compel Congress to support common sense gun reforms that make all of us, and our children, safer. Here's how:
-Click here to find your Member of Congress (https://www.callmycongress.com) and tweet or email Sandy Hook's amazing PSA (https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/campaign) to your Member of Congress.
-Sign on to add your voice to those who are standing up against gun violence!
P.S. Read more in our op-ed in USA Today (https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/09/18/sandy-hook-psa-gun-violence-school-shootings-not-inevitable-column/2354471001/).
Rabbi Sharon Brous, Founding Rabbi, IKAR; Auburn Senior Fellow @SharonBrous
Reverend Dr. Jacqui J. Lewis, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church; Auburn Senior Fellow @RevJacquiLewis