• Press Release

From Jacksonville to Chapel Hill, guns are terrorizing our generation.

Shootings, lockdowns, + more killed—back-to-school, white supremacy, and loose gun laws are a deadly combination in America.

New York — As school starts, young people in America are under attack from every direction. From a horrific white supremacist shooting in Jacksonville to shootings at multiple high school football games in the last week alone, and then again just today at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. We’re barely back in school, and many schools aren’t even in session yet, and already guns are killing us in the very places meant to keep us safe and prepare us for our futures. This is America. 

We’re devastated by this violence, but it isn’t a surprise. The root cause is unfettered access to guns, allowed by lawmakers’ refusal to take meaningful action that will stop gun violence before it happens. White supremacists, armed by loose gun laws and emboldened by politicians and “leaders” who legitimize hatred and racist grievances, are granted easy—and often legal—access to weapons of mass destruction. White supremacy thrives on armed supremacy and allows extremists to take out their hatred to use people as target practice. 

“After three hours of anxiety, anger, and frustration, I’m lucky that my friends and I are safe, but not everyone is as lucky,” said Megan Chen, the President of March For Our Lives University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I was excited to start the new school year at UNC, but today’s shooting has reduced that feeling to fear of stepping on campus. That fear will remain until lawmakers do their job and pass gun violence prevention legislation. School shootings are the norm in the US, and while I hoped this would never happen to me, lawmakers’ inaction makes gun violence a terrifying reality. Enough is enough.”

“The sickening violence in Jacksonville is far from the first time we’ve seen white supremacy rear its ugly head in violence, and unless we confront the atrocities of racism in America, it won’t be the last,” said Mariah Cooley, a March For Our Lives board member. “Just last year, I was in Buffalo, NY in the aftermath of the racist Tops shooting that left ten dead, and I organized with community members grappling with heartbreak and grief. Following the devastating shooting in Jacksonville, FL, we once again reckon with what’s at stake when we arm white supremacists with weapons that kill. If we turn a blind eye to racist rhetoric, we put lives on the line. And if we do nothing, more people will die.”