June 12, 2022
Charleston, (WV) – On Thursday, June 9th, 16 West Virginia groups and organizations submitted a resolution on gun violence to our congressional delegation, governor Justice and legislative leadership, urging them to take real, effective action concerning the nation’s increasing epidemic of gun violence.
This comes on the heels of the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, TX and Buffalo, NY, leaving more than 30 dead. Uvalde was the 27th school shooting this year. This weekend, another dozen people were killed and more than 70 were injured in 13 more mass shooting events.
On Wednesday, June 8th, survivors and families of the Uvalde and Buffalo shooting victims testified to the House Oversight Committee on the issue of gun violence. The message: do something, do something real, do something now, to protect our families, our children.
Organizations Signing the WV Gun Safety resolution letter strongly agree:
“NASW West Virginia believes every child has the right to safely attend school and every teacher has the right to do their job without fear of, or anxiety over becoming a victim of gun violence. Individuals have the right to attend work, worship, and even just go to the grocery store without fear of becoming another victim in a mass shooting. This epidemic of gun violence is unrelenting – there have been more instances of gun violence than days in 2022. Such a truth should compel those at the highest levels of government to take immediate steps to enact meaningful gun violence prevention measures,” stated Molly Arbogast, MSW
Executive Director, National Association of Social Workers, West Virginia Chapter.
“Gun violence is a grave public health concern for our country,” commented Dr. Jessica Ice, PhD, Executive Director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care. “With over 200 mass shootings in the US to date this year, there should be no doubt that we are failing as Americans–particularly [failing] our children–by not passing responsible gun law reform. Gun violence leads the way as the main cause of premature death [for children and teenagers] in our country and we need to recognize these are preventable deaths. We need a well thought out policy now!”
“Kanawha Valley NOW urges lawmakers to address this critical public safety issue. Guns made for war should not be on our streets”, stated Dr. Renate Pore, PhD.
“I’m a gun owner and a hunter but I don’t see the need to allow 18 year olds, who can’t legally buy a pack of cigarettes, or a beer, to waltz up to the counter of a sports shop and purchase a military-style semi-automatic weapon designed for maximum killing power. Our federal lawmakers need to come together and agree on policies to make our schools, churches and malls safer!” commented Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of WV Citizen Action.
The resolution below was sent to our federal lawmakers and Governor Justice today:
WV Resolution on Gun Violence
Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in our nation;
And, our schools, churches, theaters, concerts, and even grocery stores continue to be the scenes of mass shootings;
And, high capacity gun magazines make mass shootings more deadly;
And, military style rifles are designed to make mass killing more efficient;
And, eighteen year olds, who cannot legally purchase beer or tobacco, can buy a military style rifle with ease.
And, a majority of citizens, including responsible gun owners, support universal background checks and other gun safety measures;
And, Congress hasn’t passed any real gun safety legislation yet in this century;
The undersigned groups call on both our West Virginia Legislators and all Congressional Representatives to work together with your colleagues to pass common sense gun safety measures such as universal background checks, ‘Red Flag’ community safety laws, a ban on high capacity bullet magazines, and an age limit of 21 to buy lethal firearms.
Our nation is tired and frustrated with repeated platitudes as the non-solution to the growing epidemic of senseless gun violence. We demand real, evidence based remedies to this senseless slaughter in our communities. The time to act is now!
Black By God THE WEST VIRGINIAN
Brookside Ministries COGIC
Charleston WV Branch NAACP
Congregation of Saint Joseph – Wheeling Center
Health Care for All West Virginia
Kanawha Valley National Organization for Women
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic
Rise Up WV
Southern Appalachian Labor School
Summers County Huddle
UMC Justice and Advocacy Committee
West Virginia Citizen Action Group
West Virginians for Affordable Health Care
WV Coalition for Truth in History