Today, shots were fired at a middle school in Sparks, Nevada. While official reports are still coming in, eye witness accounts indicate that a student opened fire in his classroom. At least two deaths have been reported, and two other victims have been transported to area hospitals with gunshot wounds.
Nicole Hockley, the mother of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley, who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, issued the following statement on behalf of Sandy Hook Promise in response to today's incident:
"The unthinkable has happened yet again, this time in Sparks, Nevada. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the children of Sparks Middle School, who today came face to face with violence that no child should ever experience. It's moments like this that demand that we unite as parents to find common sense solutions that keep our children – all children – safe, and prevent these tragedies from happening again and again."
Francine Wheeler, the mother of six-year-old Ben Wheeler, who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, joined US Congressman Bob Brady, Admiral and former US Congressman Joe Sestak, PA Senator Anthony Williams, PA Representative Ronald Waters, local mayors, and others for the kickoff event of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy. The event, which formally announced the formation of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy, was held this evening in Media, PA. Founded on June 3, 2013, the group is working to reduce gun violence through the enactment and enforcement of sensible gun policies.
A special message from Mark Barden, father of seven-year-old Daniel:
On Sunday, I was invited to attend the memorial service to honor the lives lost in the mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
From a few blocks away, the magnitude of the event was evident by the scores of U.S. Navy officers and personnel arriving in full dress.
As we made our way across the lawn and past the families who had lost loved ones, I tried to push my own grief aside. I reminded myself that this was for them, these families. But as the Navy Band began the first bars of "Danny Boy", my feeble wall of altruism crumbled and I was overwhelmed with emotion.
I am these families. I joined this awful club last Dec. 14th when my seven year old Daniel was killed by a gunman in his 1st grade classroom along with 25 other innocent children and educators.
I re-centered my focus on the here and now. I looked at the large group of people whose lives are forever changed. These people now know the inexplicable pain of trying to contemplate the unimaginable. These people will never have an answer to that constantly pervasive "why?' This time, I was able to truly step away, for a moment, from my own tragedy...and let my heart break for them.
Though Sandy Hook Promise did not take a position on Starbucks' open-carry policy, we applaud Starbucks' handling of the matter. The company clearly listened to all the parties in the debate before coming to their recently announced position. Sandy Hook Promise is a strong supporter of the second amendment, but we watched in dismay as this "conversation" devolved into partisan bickering and irresponsible symbolic gestures, such as the call to bear arms in a Newtown Starbucks, just down the road from where our loved ones were killed on December 14. Sandy Hook Promise believes that in order to improve gun safety we must have an honest, open conversation with responsible gun owners. We hope that this action by Starbucks will lead to that kind of dialogue.
As the nation learns details of the shooting rampage that took place this morning at the Washington Navy Yard, we feel in our hearts the deep pain and loss brought about by gun violence. Please pray for the families of those lost today. The victims were parents and children, brothers and sisters, and families around the country will mourn their loss.
As we send our condolences to the families of those killed at the Washington Navy Yard, our hearts are broken, our spirit is not. We will continue to honor our pledge to find common ground around sensible solutions that put an end to such tragedy. But today is a day to grieve for the lives needlessly lost.
The governor, the mayor of Boston, and representatives of the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners' Action League testified on gun control legislation in a packed and often tense Beacon Hill hearing room Friday. But when the parents of two first-graders killed in the Newtown, Conn., school shootings stepped to the witness table, a heavy hush fell.
Sandy Hook Promise, the community organization that formed in the days following the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, has partnered with OPI Products Inc., to launch a new, limited edition nail color called Sandy Hook Green, available only through donation at www.sandyhookpromise.org/paintandpromise.
Sandy Hook Green features the bright, bold green that represents the Sandy Hook school colors and has become associated with holistic solutions to stem gun violence. Wearing the nail lacquer is an opportunity to help support the efforts of the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, which provides immediate and long-term aid to family members and the community of Sandy Hook, and promotes an open dialogue around the areas of gun responsibility, mental health and school safety through education, outreach and grass-roots discussion.
In yesterday's special election, two Colorado state lawmakers were recalled from office after voting to require criminal background checks for all gun purchases and ban large-capacity ammunition magazines. We salute Senators Morse and Giron for their service and their willingness to fight to make Colorado’s communities and children safer.
At Sandy Hook Promise, we remain committed to advocating for change by bringing together the majority of Americans who agree that we must find common sense solutions to address the causes of gun violence.