50 Campus Shooting Survivors Warn: “Do Not Use Our Tragedies to Rationalize Bad Policy”; A Majority of Texans Oppose Forcing guns on campus; Print and TV Ads Available Here
AUSTIN, Texas – As the Texas legislature continues to consider gun-lobby backed legislation that would force public universities to allow students, faculty, staff, and visitors to carry concealed handguns on campus, including in classrooms, dorms, on-campus fraternities, and at sporting events, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today announced that they are running a full-page ad in the Austin American Statesman featuring a letter of opposition from fifty campus shooting survivors and family members of campus shootings victims. In addition, the groups are running digital ads as well as re-airing TV ads opposing this dangerous legislation. The full-page newspaper ad along with TV ad can be seen here.
The letter signed by fifty campus shooting survivors states that:
“Campus shootings survivors and family members of shooting victims have a message for Texas legislators: We are survivors, parents, siblings, and children of those killed from gun violence on college campuses across America. Some of us work in higher education and some of us are gun owners. We come from different places and have different backgrounds, but we are united in asking you to oppose any legislation forcing guns onto Texas campuses. Do not force Texas colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus. Do not use our tragedies to rationalize bad policy. Instead, please listen to those who have experienced gun violence on college campuses and reject this dangerous legislation.”
A full list of the campus shooting survivors and family members of victims signers is available here.
“I was shot on a college campus and I watched my classmates and friends bleed and die, — and I find it deplorable to see Texas lawmakers continue to push a gun-lobby backed bill that Texans don’t want. There is no evidence that this legislation will make campuses safer. Playing politics with the safety of college students and forcing guns on campus is something people remember when they vote,” added letter-signer Colin Goddard, Virginia Tech shooting survivor and Senior Policy Associate at Everytown who has spent time in Texas this session meeting with lawmakers, students, moms, and other advocates strongly advocating against guns on campus.
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Texas Moms Demand Action, which has nearly 150,000 supporters in the state, previously released polling showing a majority of Texas voters oppose guns on campus. Everytown and Moms also previously released television and digital ads highlighting that large majorities of Texans oppose allowing guns on campus and at college sporting events, including majorities of self-identified Republicans, Independents, and gun owners.
If the Texas legislature were to pass this legislation Texas would become the first state in 2015 to force guns on campus. Already this session ten states have rejected dangerous guns-on-campus legislation: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.