Renowned Sports Journalist Bryant Gumbel Joins Movement to Defeat NRA-Backed Guns on Campus Bills; View the NRA Madness Tournament Here
At Least Twelve State Legislatures Currently Considering Bills that Would Force Colleges and Universities to Allow People to Carry Guns on Campus; Four States Have Already Rejected Similar Bills
NEW YORK – As the national college basketball tournament prepares to kick off the round of sixteen tonight, Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization, today launched its NRA Madness tournament highlighting sixteen states the gun lobby has targeted to push dangerous guns on campus legislation. Guns on campus bills are currently making their way through at least twelve state legislatures across the country and, if passed and signed into law, they would force colleges to allow people to carry concealed, loaded handguns on campus.
The launch of the NRA Madness tournament comes on the heels of Everytown’s successful campaigns to defeat dangerous guns on campus bills in South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Guns on campus legislation could still move forward in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
“Most folks are hoping their alma mater or top pick keeps advancing in the tournament. But the only way to win this NRA Madness tournament is to stop these foolish and dangerous guns on campus bills from ever becoming law,” said Bryant Gumbel, renowned sports journalist. “Whatever school you support, it’s a certainty that every school’s students, faculty, and staff will be safer if we can defeat these bills together.”
As part of the campaign, Everytown is calling on Americans to sign up to oppose legislation that would force colleges and universities to allow guns on campus and to share the NRA Madness tournament on Facebook and Twitter. For each person that signs up, Everytown will send a postcard to governors or state legislators in relevant states to tell them to “stop the NRA madness” and oppose guns on campus legislation.
The NRA’s ongoing push to pass guns on campus legislation is widely opposed by the people these policies would directly impact. Major stakeholders broadly reject campus carry, including 95 percent of college presidents, 78 percent of students, and 89 percent of police chiefs.
Colleges and universities have traditionally prohibited guns on campus and are largely safe from gun violence. Among all violent crime against college students from 1995 through 2002, 93 percent of incidents took place off campus.
Campuses are already filled with intense academic pressure, and drugs and alcohol are easy to come by in many places. Research shows alcohol leads to impaired judgment about whether to shoot a gun, as well as impaired aim when firing a gun. College-aged students are also at an elevated risk for firearm suicide. The firearm suicide rate of 18 to 21-year-olds is nine times higher than the firearm suicide rate of people 17 and younger. Suicide attempts with guns are far more successful than other suicide attempts.