Demand that Congress enact sensible gun reform!

Demand that Congress enact sensible gun reform!

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Lisa Svara started this petition to U.S. House of Representatives and

The world watched in horror as the U.S. Capitol building, one of our cherished beacons of democracy, was raided by insurrectionists.

The world saw your fear as you cowered, not knowing exactly who to fear or what they would do. Nobody blamed you. You had our empathy and we feared right along with you.

But perhaps no one could empathize more sincerely than our nation's cadre of teachers and K-12 students. We regularly run through lockdown drills where we are forced to imagine some unknown assailant or assailants are stalking our halls, hoping that someone will make a noise to give away their location. We huddle with our students in silence. Our minds race about if we'll ever have to do this for real. And for tens of thousands of our students, they actually have. The Washington Post estimates that over 240,000 students have had first-hand experience with gun violence in their schools. 

But schools represent only a small part of the gun violence our children must suffer through. It is estimated by the American Public Health Association that between 1999 and 2017, nearly 39,000 children were killed by gun violence in this country. That's enough kids to fill nearly every seat in Citi Field in Queens, NY, where the New York Mets play.

The shutdowns due to COVID have given our schoolchildren a small reprieve from that continual threat of violence. Hopefully schools can be fully open to welcome students back soon, but what level of safety will we be offering if nothing about the status of guns in our country has changed?

We are at a crossroads in our country, and while we have so many other problems to reconcile at this moment in history, we cannot reopen our country to all the same problems we've been able to forget over the last year of pandemic inertia.

Members of Congress - we beg you: remember your fear, and your uncertainty, and the anger you experienced on January 6, 2021. Understand that our children and educators face this same fear continually. We practice this fear. And we do not have an entire police force, Secret Service, and gas masks under our chairs to protect us. 

We, the signors of this petition, ask that you use the opportunity presented you by the shifting power in Washington DC to enact real common-sense gun reform. Strengthen background check laws. Put limits on deadlier ammunition and weapons that are currently legal. Provide funding for mental health and crisis workers - in schools and out.

We've lived with this fear for a long time. Help us.

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