Safe Tennessee Project Statement on Parkland

Once again, we find ourselves watching gut-wrenching scenes of frightened American school children running across school parking lots with their hands in the air. Once again, we hear young people sharing heartbreaking stories of abject terror as they hide in their classrooms while semi-automatic gunfire echoes in the hallways of their school.  Once again, kids saw their classmates’ and teachers’ bodies ripped apart by bullets.

Once again, teachers and students have been gunned down in their school.

Other countries have depressed people, bullied people, angry people, evil people, video games, prescription medications, broken families, mental illness, violent movies, social media, vaccines, junk food, pesticides, cell phones, people who don’t go to church, political disagreements…but other countries aren’t saturated with guns. Guns and easy access to them are the common denominator. Over and over.

American gun violence is complicated. While there is no one single law that will forever end it, there are many evidenced-based policies that can reduce the number of people, including children, shot and killed every year in mass shootings, homicides, domestic violence shootings, firearm suicides, and unintentional shootings.

Know this: the only thing standing between us and reasonable gun laws are politicians who have pledged fealty to the National Rifle Association.

Tennessee, like Florida and many other states, allows 18-year-old to legally purchase and possess long guns, including semi-automatic military-style rifles with high capacity magazines.

Four of the ten deadliest US mass shootings have taken places in the last two years. Three took place in the last six months.

1. The Harvest Music Festival: 58 killed – October 1, 2017

2. Pulse night club: 49 killed – June 12, 2016 

3. Virginia Tech: 32 killed – April 16, 2007

4. Sandy Hook: 27 killed – December 14, 2012

5. First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs: 26 killed – November 5, 2017 

6. Luby’s Cafeteria: 23 killed – October 16, 1991

7. McDonald’s in San Ysidro: 21 killed – July 18, 1984

8. University of Texas: 18 killed – August 1, 1966

9. High school in Parkland, Florida: At least 17 killed – February 14, 2018

10. San Bernardino: 14 killed – December 2, 2015

10. Edmond, Oklahoma: 14 killed – August 20, 1986