The Newtown, CT, killings of Friday, December 14, 2012, constitute the second worst mass shooting in US history, and have the dubious distinction of doubling the death toll from the Columbine High massacre. At the same time, they form part of a pattern: mass killings are on the rise in the US; five of the 11 deadliest killings in the US have happened since 2007. And children in the US are threatened not only by high-profile, headline-grabbing incidents of mass violence. Over 31,000 people in the US died from firearms-related incidents in 2009, 1,337 of them children. A 1997 study by the Centers for Disease Control found that “the homicide rate for children in the United States was five times higher” than that for children in 25 other high-income countries combined.

This is unacceptable. As parents, as a coalition of adults who care for children in one of the richest, most developed countries in the world, we have to stand up and say that we can do better as a society. Every one of our children deserves the right to graduate from high school, to choose a career, to have their own children, to grow old.

We are conservatives, liberals and moderates, gun owners and non-gun owners. What unites us is a conviction that there are many common-sense policies that can reduce gun violence, and especially the risk of harm to children. For too long, the debate has been captured by a polarized, all-or-nothing struggle. It is time for the debate to change.

Hours after the Newtown, CT, killings, a coalition of parents and concerned adults across the US started informal discussions on Facebook. The outcome is this group. We are committed to:

  • Advocating a re-centered debate, focused on policies that scientific evidence and reasoned dialogue show have the greatest potential to reduce firearm-related deaths among children.
  • Finding and disseminating scientific, peer-reviewed research on the causes of gun violence and gun accidents, and on how to reduce both.
  • Advocating for policy change. We will focus on the kinds of policies that we believe can build support across the political spectrum, policies supported by evidence and debate.

If you share our goals, we invite you to join us. We are hopeful that there are tens of millions of American parents and other concerned adults who can find common ground for dialogue, and practicable policies that can make our country safer. Let’s talk about what policies have the greatest chances of reducing the likelihood of a tragedy like the Newtown, CT, shooting from ever happening again. And then let’s demand that our elected representatives make these changes.

If you are interested in this group, please find us on Facebook, or email admin [at] parentsagainstgunviolence [dot] com.

6 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for putting your energy and time towards this very important effort. I, too, am trying to work with other like-minded ppl here in my town in CT. Where are you based out of? I would love to talk to you more about joining forces. We have amassed some pretty good numbers and I believe that we all must connect and work together on this one. I agree with everything that you are doing. Our missions are very much aligned. I look forward to speaking to you soon! Please feel free to email me and perhaps we can set up a time to chat further about how to grow our efforts – together.

    Thank you,
    Erin

  2. I think your doing a wonderful thing–the goals & proposals outlined here are very much in line with what I believe. As a new mother I just want to feel safe when I send my little one to school or go out with my family!

    Just wanted to say thank you for being a voice for reason & change.

  3. It is well known among psychologists that the primary cause of the mania of school shooters is bullying. They have put the title of pseudocommando (google it) to them. Adam Lanza was probably bullied in his family first and when he entered school his peers quickly detected his vulnerability. Kids can be very cruel. 12 years of humiliating pranks, shunning and bullying can result in suicidal and vengeful behavior. What is to be done?

  4. I would recommend that you start grassroots groups in each state with senators who voted against expanded background checks and make it a priority to get those Senators out in the next election, Here’s the list:

    Nays (46)

    Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

    Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

    Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

    Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

    Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska

    Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

    Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.

    Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

    Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind.

    Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

    Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

    Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

    Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

    Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

    Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

    Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

    Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

    Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

    Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.

    Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

    Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

    Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.

    Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.

    Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.

    Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

    Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah

    Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

    Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

    Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio

    Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

    Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.*

    Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho

    Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

    Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

    Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

    Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.

    Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

    Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

    Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

  5. Stephanie Whetstone

    Hello,

    Thank you for all you are doing to make our communities safer. As a parent who lost a child to gun violence, I stand strong on this issue. I would love to join your group and do whatever is needed in my community to correct the current issues we are facing with the lax gun laws passed by Congress. I formed an organization in honor of my son called the Preston A Brown Memorial Foundation. For more details on the organization, you can visit our website at pabmemorialfoundation.org. Once again, thanks for all you have done and are continuing to do.

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