H.R.34, the Safe Students Act, was introduced to the House on January 12, 2017. This bill repeals the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which prohibits any unauthorized individual from possessing a firearm in a school zone. The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 313-1. In addition to H.R.34, on February 1st White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the current administration will continue to explore Executive Orders to support campaign promises, such as removing gun-free zones. Gabby Giffords, former Congresswoman and victim of gun violence, has an advocacy organization that started a petition to uphold existing gun laws.
This week we donated to the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity that was started by several family members of those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that claimed the lives of 20 young children and 6 adults – the third deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Their mission is to prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide, and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless horrific loss of their child. The Foundation builds a national base of parent, school, and community organization supporters who raise awareness and deliver programs to prevent gun violence in their communities. These programs include gun safety and storage practices; advocacy for gun safety laws; and mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals.
We believe that “the right to bear arms” needs to be taken into present-day context, and that when our Founding Fathers wrote the Bill of Rights they were not envisioning guns being used on school grounds. Schools and guns simply do not go together. It is hard to remember anything more chilling than the news of the Sandy Hook massacre — in fact, that event was what inspired Dallas to start her “year of kindness” challenge because she needed to do something in response to senseless violence and immense grief. We must do everything in our power to ensure that it never happens again. The Gun-Free School Zones Act is a vital protection of our children, and the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation is an important resource and legacy for future generations.