Topic

gun violence

186 petitions

Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Betsy Devos

Tell Betsy DeVos: don't use taxpayer $$$ to arm teachers!

As reported by The New York Times, education secretary Besty DeVos is considering awarding federally funded grants to buy guns for schoolteachers as a way to prevent school shootings. DeVos’ plan represents a radical shift in education policy that for years has taken the position that the federal government should not fund weapons procurement for schools. It ignores Congressional mandates that expressly prohibit using federal taxpayer dollars to buy guns. In a cynical ploy to circumvent the prohibition of funding school weapons purchases, DeVos is contemplating raiding the Student Support and Academic Enrichment program to buy guns. Arming teachers is not the way to support students or enrich their academic experience.  Arming teachers is a misguided policy that substitutes NRA rhetoric about “good guys with guns" for rational solutions to prevent gun violence in schools. Educational advocacy organizations, law enforcement experts, parents and teachers themselves roundly oppose the strategy of turning educators into armed security guards. In a statement released after President Trump floated the idea of arming teachers in response to the Parkland school shooting, the National Association of School Resource Officers “strongly recommends that no firearms be on a school campus except those carried by carefully selected, specially trained school resource officers.” Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said arming teachers to prevent school shootings is “the height of lunacy.” Rick Myers, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association said he would be “hard-pressed to find someone in policing who thinks it's a good idea to arm teachers.” As Debra Ciamacca, a Marine Corps officer turned high school teacher explained, “Guns have no place in the classroom” because teachers will never have the training to make the split second decisions needed in active shooter situations. Furthermore, “weapons are not conducive to the teacher/student relationship.” Even among trained police officers, shooting accuracy is shockingly low. A 2008 Rand Corporation study of New York City police reported an average hit rate of just 18 percent. That's one reason why Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Educational Association, calls the idea of arming teachers “ill-conceived, preposterous, and dangerous.” In her letter to President Trump, Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.7 million member American Federation of Teachers wrote, “The response we have heard is universal, most notably from educators who are gun owners, military veterans and National Rifle Association members: Teachers don’t want to be armed; we want to teach.” In a recent survey conducted by the NEA, 82 percent of their members said they would not carry a gun in school. Two-thirds of educators who own guns would not consider carrying a firearm on school property, and two-thirds also said they would feel less safe with armed teachers in their school. The voices of those who know best overwhelmingly oppose arming teachers. Tell Besty DeVos to listen to them and drop all considerations of using taxpayer funds to arm educators. (Poster Credit: BBDO Atlanta/Ad Age)

CT Against Gun Violence
65,801 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Paul D. Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, Charles "Chuck" E. Schumer

Tell Congress They Must No Longer Accept Contributions from the NRA!

After the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 15, 2018 that resulted in the deaths of 17 students and teachers and injuries to at least 17 more, it seems as though we have finally had enough of the out-of-control violence caused by people with access to AR-15s and other assault-type weapons. Despite what the NRA would like us to believe, guns do kill people! Students across the country are in fear for their lives. They are afraid to return to their schools, and are demanding major changes to our gun laws to protect them from more occurrences of the senseless violence. In support of that demand, plans are under way for a mass protest in which they will walk out from their classrooms and not return until laws are passed to ensure this never happens again. But change will never happen as long as the members of Congress are in the pocket of the NRA and the gun industry. In support of this effort to make our country a safer place for our children to grow up in, we propose the all 100 Senators and 435 Representatives sign a pledge to no longer accept donations, or funds of any kind, from the NRA or any gun manufacturer. Our lawmakers must be freed from the influence of these entities that put profit before people and actively conspire to maintain the gun culture that has allowed these unprecedented acts of violence to continue at an alarming rate. In 1996, after a man killed 35 people with a semi-automatic weapon in a popular tourist area of Port Arthur, in Tasmania, the people of Australia stood up and demanded that the their government ban rapid-fire guns to end these kinds of mass shootings. The government responded, and the proof that tougher gun laws are the solution is that there has not been one death from a mass shooting incident in Australia since the new laws were enacted. It CAN work here as well, but not as long as our elected representatives are beholden to the gun industry and their enforcers, the NRA. These are our children, the future of our country, and their voices must be heard. For America to survive and grow as a free nation, we must protect them, and ourselves, from the epidemic of deadly violence that has infected every part of our country. Let's tell our lawmakers in no uncertain terms that this must be the first step they have to take to actually protect the country and the people they took an oath to do.

Andrew Zweigel
10,518 supporters