President Biden promised to be the most gun safety friendly in history. A coalition of gun violence prevention organizations are launching the “Shock Market” campaign to hold him accountable for executive action.
Washington, D.C. —Today marks four years since the horrifying tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Today is a somber day, one full of grief and sorrow, and we have always avoided speaking out on this day to create space for that. We are honoring the 17 lives that were senselessly taken, the 17 survivors who were wounded, and the two who later fell victim to their trauma with a dove release and candlelight vigil in Coral Springs, Florida, in partnership with Eagle’s Haven Wellness Center.
It shocks the conscience, however, that gun violence has continued to worsen. Under this President, who committed to ending gun violence in his campaign, gun violence remains sky-high. We are compelled to speak out and demand that the President keep his promises to fight the gun violence epidemic.
The fact is, 47,000 people have died since President Biden’s inauguration, and countless others’ lives have been forever altered. Gun violence remains the leading cause of death for children in America. The President promised immediate, urgent action, but he has only tinkered at the edges and has left many powerful tools on the table.
To spur the President to action, and remind him of the unbearable loss of life that is occurring under his watch, March For Our Lives released today with Change the Ref and Guns Down America a new tool to track the number of deaths and injuries that have occurred since President Biden took office. The public can visit the tool at ShockMarket.org. The tool pulls from the Gun Violence Archive, an authoritative source on gun violence and gun crime, and counts deaths and injuries from January 20th, 2021 to the present day. The tool also has an action center, where concerned Americans can contact the White House through social media to demand immediate action.
What we are asking for is simple: That the President treats the gun violence epidemic like the emergency that it is, not a to-do list item to get to when he can. March For Our Lives has outlined clear, specific, tangible executive actions the President can take to curb the gun violence epidemic. Today, alongside Change the Ref and Guns Down America, we are asking for these actions that the President can take immediately, without the need for congressional approval, and we are demanding the President commit to them before the State of the Union on March 1st:
Establish a National Office of Gun Violence Prevention To ensure this issue is a top priority, streamline the government’s efforts to reduce violence, engage key stakeholders and survivors from across the country, and establish a long-term, sustained effort to save lives.
Invest in Community Violence Intervention Programs President Biden must put the power of the presidency behind a legislative push to invest in community programs that help disrupt cycles of interpersonal gun violence, aggressively hold city leaders accountable for expanding such programs, and ensure that community funding is included in must-pass legislation.
Hold the Gun Industry Accountable The Biden administration must nominate a new director to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) who will effectively regulate manufacturers and dealers and guide ongoing efforts to reduce firearm trafficking.
Use the Presidential Bully Pulpit Co-ordinate a unified, national response to the gun violence epidemic by taking executive action, and announcing a comprehensive, whole-of-government plan with measurable targets to end gun violence.
The gun violence epidemic is an avoidable crisis. We actively choose the path that results in tens of thousands of gun deaths a year. We were enthused when President Biden said that he would be the most gun safety friendly president in American history, and we were encouraged by his forceful and specific promises to act. But it’s clear that the President has chosen not to make gun violence a priority, and we demand that he put it at the top of his agenda. Our lives depend on it.