Inconsistent application of and loosely worded laws regulating the sale of guns has led to far too many homicides, whether as mass shootings or the nearly every day occurrence of victims of domestic violence being murdered by their abuser. Background checks, especially at gun shows, can begin to reduce the horrendous toll of loss of lives we see in this country. It is imperative that we immediately have an honest dialogue about responsible gun ownership, and work to create strong laws that give law enforcement the tools they need to keep as any guns out of dangerous hands as possible."
In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Tucson in January 2011—where a mentally ill young man was able to legally purchase firearms and ammunition—the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV) began to ask organizations across the country to take a stand against senseless violence by publicly supporting policies that will keep guns out of the hands of violent and severely mentally ill individuals. We have created the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence because we feel it is time to fix the nation’s background check system for gun purchasers and close loopholes in the law that allow criminals, drug abusers, and the severely mentally ill to gain easy access to firearms. The Campaign is a coalition of national organizations that are willing to take a stand to let policy makers know that we can and must stop the flow of illegal guns into our communities.
Campaign members join by signing a general Statement of Principles encompassing a variety of gun policy positions that the majority of Americans embrace. Campaign efforts and programs include: a) Fostering research and education about gun violence; b) Supporting grassroots efforts to prevent gun violence; c) Advocating for common-sense gun policies like universal background checks and enhanced screening and training for individuals who carry guns in public.
Christian Heyne from the EFSGV staff, and Virginia Tech survivor Omar Samaha, are the organizers behind the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence. Omar lost his sister Reema in the mass shooting at VT in 2007. Christian's mother Jan was killed in a senseless act of gun violence on Memorial Day in 2005.
The Campaign to Stop Gun Violence is welcome to all national organizations that want to make a difference in preventing the loss of precious lives to gun violence. Please contact us today to become part of our coalition!