As firearms become a leading cause of death among young people, Sandy Hook Promise provides blueprint to save lives
Newtown, CT — Today, Sandy Hook Promise released a new report, revealing that children and adolescents are at an alarming risk of gun violence in schools and communities across the country. The report, “Protecting America’s Youth from Gun Violence,” provides concrete steps that schools, communities, elected officials, and individuals can take to prevent gun violence.
“With more teenagers than ever struggling with mental health challenges, more guns in homes than ever before and record-high gun violence happening in communities, we must take immediate action to save lives,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “Our report lays out a plan to tackle the public health crisis of gun violence head on.”
According to the report, the only way to conquer the problem of gun violence is to approach it like a public health issue. To do so, Sandy Hook Promise recommends a combination of research on children and gun violence; community-based programs that teach youth and adults how to prevent violence; and policies that advocate for prevention.
“If we take a holistic approach to gun violence, we can put an end to this crisis and save countless lives,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “Gun violence is preventable when you know the signs and say something to a trusted adult — we just need to empower our communities, schools, and kids with the support and resources they need.”
The report lists specific recommendations, including:
- Increased funding for research on community-based gun violence prevention.
- Increased professional training to address gun violence as a public health problem.
- More school resources and technical assistance for student mental health.
- Community assessments to identify and help address local needs.
- Student and teacher training on the signs of violence and how to respond.
- Youth empowerment so they can help create safer communities.
- Establish diverse student advisory groups to center youth voices in conversations about gun violence.
“We cannot stand by as our children are killed by guns every day,” said Hockley. “We need to listen to our kids and partner with them in the struggle to stop gun violence — before it’s too late.”
About Sandy Hook Promise
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed Know the Signs prevention programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others. Through nonpartisan policy and partnerships, SHP advances gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education at the state and federal levels that protect all children from gun violence in their schools, homes, and communities. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
Aimee Thunberg, Senior Director, Communications, Sandy Hook Promise | [email protected] | 646-761-5579