On the morning of December 14, 2012, the families of Newtown readied their children for school. They made their lunches and packed their backpacks. It was the start of another day at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Nothing that morning signified the terror, heartache and loss that would engulf that community.
By that evening, Sandy Hook would become synonymous with the worst school shooting in U.S. history. There were prayers, vigils and call for action. Congress came close that year to doing something by trying to pass the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey expanded background check bill.
But it failed by six votes.
Since that December day, there have been at least 1,917 mass shootings.
In the six years following, there has only been one full calendar week without a mass shooting. This year set a record for school gun violence since data was first collected in 1970. Yet Congress has done nothing.
A majority of American voters, including Republicans,
support stronger gun policies. However, those who oppose stricter measures have long been more passionate about the issue. They vote on that issue and they call Congress.
This year was different.
We called, marched and voted, and it worked. Candidates supporting common sense gun laws defeated NRA-backed candidates.
The House has a Gun Violence Prevention Task Force to lead the effort to halt gun violence. The GOP-controlled Congress stymied the task force's ability to make progress. That is about to change. Soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has
pledged to make gun violence safety a top priority.
Many JAC-supported candidates such as Reps. Jason Crow (D-CO), Susie Lee (D-NV), Elaine Luria (D-VA), and Lucy McBath (D-GA),
have joined the Task Force.
In the Senate,
it will be an uphill battle to pass an expanded background check bill and other gun safety bills. But our fight must continue.
We need to make sure Congress hears from our side.
We must be the voices for the 2,175 victims killed since Sandy Hook - and the more than 100 people that will be killed each day from gun violence if we don't do something now.
Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities.