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National Call-In Day for Mental Health Reform

Together we took an incredibly important step in July, when bipartisan mental health reform passed the House almost unanimously thanks to supporters like you. But our fight isn't over yet.

These historic reforms still need to get a floor vote and pass the Senate before becoming law, and we only have a few short weeks before senators break for the campaign trail.

That's why we're organizing a nationwide call-in today to make passing this critical bill a top priority. Please make a quick call to your senators now and ask them to urge leadership to bring S. 2680 to the floor for a vote and to vote "yes" on this bill, which will help identify and provide treatment for those with mental health issues:

After countless phone calls and visits to congressional offices about my sweet little Daniel, I can promise your call, however short and simple, will make a real difference. Here are some talking points for your calls:

  • Dial (202) 224-3121, press #1, then enter your Zip Code.
  • Say your name and that you're the senator's constituent.
  • Then, explain that you support S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.
  • Finish by urging your senator to ask Senate leaders to bring S. 2680 to the floor for immediate consideration and that your senator vote "yes" for mental health reform that will save lives, because too many families and communities have been devastated by untreated mental health issues.
  • That's it! But if you'd like to say more, you can click here to learn more about the key parts of this important bill.

After you finish the call, please click here to let us know. We're keeping track of which senators have been called so we know who still needs to hear from us.

We've advocated for these reforms for over three years now, and I truly believe that by continuing to take action together we can finally get a Senate vote and pass the critical mental health reforms that may help save lives.

There are times when we rely heavily on our Sandy Hook Promise community, and this is one of them. We can't tell you enough how thankful we are to have your support at this crucial moment.

 

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Sandy Hook Promise and More than 50 Groups to Rally on the National Mall for LGBTQ+ Rights, Gun Safety Reforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 12, 2016                                                                     

Dini von Mueffling Communications

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@h-vm.com

646-650-5005

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Sandy Hook Promise and More than 50 Groups to Rally on the National Mall for LGBTQ+ Rights, Gun Safety Reforms

 

Washington, DC – On Saturday, Sandy Hook Promise and a coalition of 50+ organizations will gather to advocate for LGBTQ+ equality and commonsense gun safety legislation at the Disarm Hate Rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

 

Responding to the the tragic shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in June and a summer filled with senseless gun violence, members of the LGBTQ+ community, allies, advocates, celebrities, religious leaders, and families from around the country will come together to urge legislators to support equal rights for LGBTQ+ citizens and implement responsible gun control reforms to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

 

Nicole Hockley of Sandy Hook Promise said, “Gun violence is an issue that affects all of America; no one individual or community is immune. By working together and raising our voices in unity, we can deliver solutions that prevent gun violence for everyone.”

 

WHAT: Rally to Disarm Hate

WHEN: August 13, 2016, 11am – 4pm

WHERE: West Potomac Park (between Independence Ave., SW and Ohio Dr., SW)

Washington, DC

 

Speakers will include actor and writer Harvey Fierstein, LGBTQ+ and gun safety advocate Lelia Spears, and Christine Leinonen, whose son was killed in the Orlando shooting.

 

Participating organizations include: Sandy Hook Promise, Newtown Action Alliance,  Connecticut Against Gun Violence, MomsRising, National Action Network, One Pulse for America, Collective Goods, CeaseFirePA, Washington National Cathedral, The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Million Mom March, The Trevor Project, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Gays Against Guns, Women Against Gun Violence, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, UNDER THE GUN, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Doctors for America, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Council of Jewish Women, Students United Against Gun Violence, Rabbis Against Gun Violence, Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, All Saints Church of Pasadena, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, The Vision Quilt, Cuomo Cole Productions, Living For 32, A New Routine for America, Safe Tennessee Project, WERK for Peace, The ENOUGH Campaign, Gun Free UH, Stonewall Democratic Club, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence, Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice, Swish Ally Fund, We The People For Sensible Gun Laws, TOGETHER WE STAND, GunSenseVT, Jewish Women International, Sappho Way Empowerment, The Brown Grrlz Project, and the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare.

 

Additional information about the rally can be found at www.disarmhate2016.com

 

About Sandy Hook Promise:

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

 

 

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Sandy Hook Promise Statement Supporting Maine Background Checks for Gun Sales Initiative

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Sandy Hook Promise Statement Supporting Maine Background Checks for Gun Sales Initiative

 

 

Today, the families of Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement supporting Question 3, Maine’s Background Checks for Gun Sales Initiative:

 

“Sandy Hook Promise strongly supports the effort of Maine voters to require background checks before any gun sale or transfer between individuals who are not licensed dealers.

 

Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary where we lost 20 precious children and their dedicated educators, we have learned that only sixty percent of gun sales in America are conducted with a background check for the buyer. Hundreds of criminals fail these checks each year in Maine because, and yet they can easily sidestep this process by buying a gun over the internet or at a gun show without a background check.

 

Universal background checks are a proven and critical tool to help keep guns out of dangerous hands and protect the rights of law-abiding citizens. We are proud to stand with the people of Maine to support this important measure that will empower citizens and save lives.”

 

About Sandy Hook Promise:

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

 

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Sandy Hook Promise Statement Supporting Question 1, Nevada's Background Check Initiative

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Sandy Hook Promise Statement Supporting Question 1, Background Check Initiative

 

 

“Sandy Hook Promise strongly supports the effort of Nevada voters to close the background check loophole to help prevent gun violence in their communities.

 

Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary where we lost 20 precious children and their dedicated educators, we have learned that background checks are critical to preventing gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.

 

Nevadans know that this commonsense measure will ensure that people who should not have access to firearms, including criminals and domestic abusers, cannot easily access them. By approving a simple and fast check at point of sale, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting, and self-defense, Nevada voters will make their communities that much safer for their families and friends.

 

We are proud to stand with Nevada families to support this important measure that will protect all Nevadans and save lives while upholding Second Amendment rights.”

 

About Sandy Hook Promise:

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

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Preventing the Next Gun Tragedy: The Work of Sandy Hook Promise

From the Aspen Ideas Festival, watch Nicole Hockley's talk about preventing the next gun tragedy and empowering parents, schools and communities against gun violence — often without even using the word "gun."

Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Recent Shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      

Dini von Mueffing Communications

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@h-vm.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise Releases Statement Regarding Recent Shootings in

Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas 

 

July 8, 2016 - Our hearts are with the families and communities of Alton Sterling & Philando Castile, the officers and civilians hurt or killed in Dallas, and every person cut down by bullets in this country every single day.

 

The events of last night in Dallas and the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are horrific and unacceptable. We MUST and can do better.

 

Gun violence is gun violence is gun violence. Any person's life taken by such violent means is unacceptable.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-partisan national nonprofit formed and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  Based in Newtown, Connecticut, SHP’s sole purpose is to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens so that no other parents experience the senseless, horrific loss of their child.  SHP delivers, at no cost, four Know the Signs programs that teach youth and adults to recognize signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late.  SHP’s Know the Signs programs have helped stop a school shooting, multiple suicide and firearm threats, while also intervening to help individuals get mental health assistance.  Additionally, SHP advocates for sensible state and federal violence prevention policy in the areas of mental health and wellness identification, intervention and treatment as well as firearm access and storage. To bring SHP’s Know the Signs programs to your school or community or help advocate for sensible policy, visit sandyhookpromise.org.

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Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Rep. Murphy and the House for the Passage of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              

Dini von Mueffing Communications

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@h-vm.com

646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Rep. Murphy and the House for the Passage of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

 

Sandy Hook Promise Praises the Senators’ Efforts and Dedication to Reform Mental Health Care System

 

Washington. D.C. – July 7, 2016 - Today, the House was able to pass legislation aiming to reform our nation’s mental health care system. Thanks the unwavering dedication of Congressman Tim Murphy, H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act passed 422 to 2. Today marks significant progress in the way our country handles mental health.

Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise who lost her first-grade son, Dylan Hockley, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, commented on the bill’s passage: "This bill opens the doors for many more important steps to be taken in order to close the gaps in our country’s mental health system.  Thanks to the tireless work of Reps. Tim Murphy and Eddie Bernice Johnson, mental health reform has become a bipartisan issue that everyone can stand behind. Now, we look to the Senate to grasp this momentum and drastically improve the lives of Americans suffering from mental health conditions.”

One in five Americans suffer from mental health conditions, H.R. 2646 aims to fix the nation’s broken mental health system through new compensation measures and broadening care to those who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety and other illnesses. By promoting early intervention and suicide prevention, these changes will help to prevent acts of suicide and violence as well as provide care for those who may otherwise fall victim to the criminal justice system.

After the momentous passage in the House, it is now time for the Senate to approve an identical bill in order to enact these new measures. Sandy Hook Promise calls upon the Senate to pass mental health reform measures and encourages them to forge forward in the same bipartisan spirit as the House.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-partisan national nonprofit formed and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  Based in Newtown, Connecticut, SHP’s sole purpose is to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens so that no other parents experience the senseless, horrific loss of their child.  SHP delivers, at no cost, four Know the Signs programs that teach youth and adults to recognize signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late.  SHP’s Know the Signs programs have helped stop a school shooting, multiple suicide and firearm threats, while also intervening to help individuals get mental health assistance.  Additionally, SHP advocates for sensible state and federal violence prevention policy in the areas of mental health and wellness identification, intervention and treatment as well as firearm access and storage. To bring SHP’s Know the Signs programs to your school or community or help advocate for sensible policy, visit sandyhookpromise.org.

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I'm A Sandy Hook Father & Here's What You Need To Know About Gun Reform

By Mark Barden

Mark and DanielOn Dec. 14, 2012, my life changed forever when the youngest of my three beautiful children, my sweet little 7-year-old son Daniel, was murdered in his first grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School, along with 19 of his peers and six educators. Today, three and a half years later, I am currently one of the managing directors of Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit gun violence prevention organization with a mission to prevent other gun-related deaths so no one else has to experience the devastation of senseless gun violence.

2016 has been a year of senseless gun violence, with the shootings in Orlando, Fla.Kalamazoo, Mich., and Hesston, Kan. being just three of the more than 130 mass shootings the United States has seen so far this year. Gun reform continues to stall even after the Pulse nightclub shooting, which has been deemed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In mid June, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, my home state, led an almost 15-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate in order to bring a vote up on the Terror Gap and expanding background checks. Though his filibuster was successful and a vote was scheduled, four provisions, two from Democrats and two from Republicans, were all voted down and did not pass. The next week, another Connecticut Congressman, Jim Himes, led a movement to boycott the moment of silence for Orlando, not out of any kind of disrespect for the victims, but because moments of silence do nothing to help stop the next massacre. Only action can do that. Following his protest, Representative John Lewis and dozens of House Democrats led a 25 hour sit-in on the House floorto force the Republican majority to let them vote on similar measures. Their vote is scheduled for Tuesday.

Weeks after the Orlando shooting, I am still overcome with sadness. Unfortunately, it's part of a longer continuum of this epidemic. I would never propose to say that I know what they're going through just because we've shared a similar loss, but I can empathize, as I know all too well how it feels to suddenly lose someone to gun violence. I continue to feel empathy for them, because I know this journey is just beginning and it will never end.

At Sandy Hook Promise, we like to think of gun reform as a series of "ands" not "ors" — not this or that, but this and that. There are so many things we can do from a policy, legislative, and cultural perspective that it's wide open with opportunities to do better.

Upward of 32,000 people continue to die from gun-related tragedies every single year in this country, and so many of those deaths are preventable. While numbers related to violence, accidents, and negligence are going down, these gun-related tragedy figures aren't changing. The stats for the automobile industry come to mind: According to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle traffic-related injuries resulting in death decreased 3.7 percent between 2012 and 2013, which the CDC notes is significant. Meanwhile, the CDC also reported that the death rate from firearm injuries "did not change significantly in 2013 from 2012." I think the rate of automobile-related tragedies is dropping because we're working hard on various strategies to bring them down, but we haven't been able to do that with gun-related tragedies.

There so much we can do. We need better policy reform around who has access to firearms and how they obtain that access. Gun violence restraining orders represent opportunities to save countless lives. Safe gun storage is another effective way to prevent a gun from getting in the wrong hands, but currently, there are no federal laws mandating safe storage, and only 11 states have any sort of requirements at the state level.

We also need to speak to our culture in ways that we haven't before. That's part of the work I'm doing with Sandy Hook Promise. We're trying to engage people in this conversation before the gun is even in the equation. We are providing them with something to do, rather than just telling them to sign their name on a list. We offer programs that can be quickly and easily implemented in their communities and school systems for free. These programs address the heart of the matter regarding identification and prevention by training people to identify someone who might be on their way to hurt themselves or somebody else with a firearm, and get them the help they need before it results in disaster. We are also working closely with our federal government to pass meaningful mental health reform so that quality, comprehensive mental health care is available and accessible to more people.

Daniel

To the legislators who are working their hardest to pass common sense gun measures: Thank you. The majority of the American public is with you. I think the Democrat sit-in was a great tool for awareness; anecdotally, I know that a lot of people aren't aware that those who are considered too dangerous to get on an airplane are still allowed to legally purchase guns. It all comes down to raising our voices and making noise, and that's one of the things that our legislators who participated in the sit-in are doing. They are raising this issue up to the top of the lines, and I think they've done a great job with that. It was at the top of the news for days, and is educating people and hopefully motivating them to get engaged. Those who are with our legislators in mind, body and spirit need to be vocal. They need to make their support known, because that's where the breakdown is.

To the legislators who are obstructing any and every proposed piece of gun safety reform — you are out of step with your constituents. The polls show that 90 percent of Americans want better gun reform and safer gun regulations in this country. Your constituents know that you are not voting in their favor. Shouldn't the welfare and safety of your constituents be one of your top priorities?

To the citizens who think we don't need improved gun reform, I think you owe it to yourself to educate yourself. There's a lot of good that can be done and a lot of lives that can be saved — without infringing on anyone's Second Amendment rights. The government is not coming after your guns. We really need to step back and look at this rationally and understand that we need to do a better job.

There are so many ways for people to raise their voices and be heard. If you're already involved, get more friends involved. Find a gun violence prevention organization that resonates with your own philosophies and get active with them. Write to your legislators. Call your legislators. We know that they don't hear from folks, because a lot of folks don't know that that's what they need to do. Or, they do know and they think that somebody else is doing it — and they're not. We know from speaking to policy makers that they only hear from the extremists on the fringe. So, the vast majority of sensible people in the center need to speak up. If you look at any social movement throughout history, that's what it takes. It takes noise and engagement from the majority in the center. Make noise. Be heard.

I hope that whoever ends up in the Oval Office is listening to those who are making noise, as 90 percent of Americans want to see something done. 90 percent of Americans believe that we need to do better with sensible gun reforms. The majority of NRA households think that we need to do a better job with gun reform. This country is ready to move forward and progress.

Mark, Jackie and Daniel

As we mourn the increasingly frequent mass shootings and the daily gun-related tragedies that continue in our cities, I hope that people will take a moment to realize what's at stake here and why this mission is so important. It affects all of us.

My sweet, little Daniel was an exceptionally compassionate little boy who was aware of all those around him. We used to call him the caretaker of all living things, because he would save the worms from the sun, and he would connect with his classmates who were sitting alone. Daniel thought nothing of taking the risk of putting himself out there to improve the quality of life of others, because he knew it was the right thing to do. If more of us can take that message and move it forward, we would be in a better place.

 

As told to Lucia Peters at Bustle: http://www.bustle.com/articles/168993-im-a-sandy-hook-father-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-gun-reform