Gun Violence

Over the past few days alone, we have seen four mass shootings in the communities of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, Des Moines, Iowa, and most recently in Yakima, Washington. 

The dramatic spike in gun violence touches every part of your community—its workplaces, centers of entertainment, shopping areas, houses of worship and, as you know too well, schools. You are not just school leaders but community leaders and, too often, you are also consolers. No one is more painfully aware than you that we need immediate, transformational change in our nation’s gun laws. Surely, you ask yourselves if now is not the time for change, then when? 

In just the last three weeks of this new year, there have been 40 shootings. There were 647 mass shootings in 2022 alone. Firearms are now the No. 1 cause of death among American children. The youngest shooter this year has been a child himself, a 6-year-old, who used a parent’s gun to grievously wound his first-grade teacher. 

We must all raise our voices immediately to turn back the tidal wave of senseless violence that is endemic to our country alone. I urge you to reread and spread the message of AFSA’s 2022 Triennial Convention resolution, which among other things calls for a "nationwide ban on the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession and use of all semiautomatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition cartridges, except those needed by the military and law enforcement.” 

To further refresh your memories on the full details of AFSA’s resolution, please click here.

Let us stand as one to stop the madness and protect our children, communities and all innocent Americans.

Be well, stay well.

photo credit: Stop Gun Violence by Bart Everson. Used under Creative Commons. Flickr.