NEWTOWN, Conn. — Last night, six people were killed by a disgruntled employee who opened fire on co-workers in a breakroom at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia. This shooting comes in what is the second deadliest year for mass shootings on record. According to the Gun Violence Archive, the U.S. is averaging nearly two mass shootings per day; more than 600 so far this year.
In response to last night’s tragedy, Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, issued the following statement:
“Our hearts are heavy for the families and loved ones of the six people murdered in last night’s mass shooting. The store was busy with shoppers preparing for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving holiday. Six precious lives were taken, leaving traumatized families to mourn rather than celebrate.
“Just days after a mass shooting took the lives of five people in Colorado Springs, our nation feels the immense sadness and trauma of a senseless murder spree. Together, we mourn for the victims and fear for ourselves. We fear that gun violence might strike us or our own families, randomly, as we go about our daily lives. Whether we’re out shopping for Thanksgiving dinner or celebrating a birthday in a club — we fear that we, too, will fall victim to the gun violence epidemic that grips our nation.
“We cannot, must not, let fear immobilize us. We must band together to reject the notion that gun violence is inevitable and embrace the fact that gun violence is, indeed, preventable. We must honor every victim of gun violence by speaking out in their honor to demand immediate action to rid our country of this deadly epidemic.
“Undisputed research proves that gun violence is preventable when we know the warning signs and take action to get help. Simple policy actions like background checks for all gun sales, safe storage, magazine limits for firearms and extreme risk protection orders are proven to save lives and are remedies legislators must pass now.
“A trip to buy groceries, a night on the town, a day at school should not be wracked with fear. Every American should be able to enjoy life without the threat of being gunned down. We must demand that public officials act now to help end gun violence.”
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) envisions a future where all children are free from school shootings and other acts of violence. As a national nonprofit organization, SHP’s mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Creators of the life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP teaches the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis, socially isolated, or at-risk of hurting themselves or others and how to get help. SHP also advances school safety, youth mental health, and responsible gun ownership at the state and federal levels through nonpartisan policy and partnerships. 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 | [email protected] | 646-761-5579