I wrote that in my post a few months ago, describing the letter that California’s Superintendent of Education Tony Thurmond sent to all district superintendents in the state. He asked them to inform families in their districts about parents’ responsibility to keep guns locked and ammunition stored separately.
That was a good first step.
However, we’ve just received bad news about what we hoped would be the next step: AB 452, a bill to require parental notification of California’s firearm safety laws through the schools, will NOT be set for hearing before the Education Committee this year.
Nevertheless, we’ll try again next year. It’s too important an opportunity to pass up.
Meanwhile, there’s Schools for Safe Storage
Suppose you have school-aged children in California, or maybe you simply believe, as we do, that school districts have a central role to play in gun violence prevention (GVP). You can go to Schools for Safe Storage, enter your county, enter your school district, select a template, then select a method (email, postal, phone).
The site makes it easy for you to tell your superintendent that you want schools in your district to inform parents that they are responsible for gun safety at home.
While we continue to work for the passage of AB452 and similar bills, Schools for Safe Storage is a strong, grass-roots way to deliver your message.
The shortest path to safe storage is through the schools
Why is this important? Why now?
The recent uptick in headline-grabbing shootings has many American shaking their heads, yet again. But those events disappear quickly from your news feed and from the front page.
What never goes away, though, is the epidemic of daily gun violence, mostly affecting communities, families and homes you don’t see on the news.
- As I mentioned before, more than 6 million children live in homes with unlocked and loaded firearms.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the rates of firearm injuries to children, and caused by children, greatly increased during the first six months of the pandemic.
- Keeping firearms stored locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition can stop firearm suicide and unintentional death among U.S. youths. It’s also the best way to keep children from taking a gun to school.
With a few simple actions, you can tell your local school district it’s important to send out information to families about their responsibility to safely store firearms.
Here in Southern California, several school districts have already taken this action or have committed to doing so in the future, including San Diego Unified School District, Poway Unified, Solana Beach and La Mesa-Spring Valley. We thank the volunteers who have made this happen!
Contact your school district superintendent. Now!
Are you ready to start a campaign like this in your school district? Visit Schools for Safe Storage for tools you can use to get started in any district in California. Let us know if you contact your school district or if you have any questions about mounting a campaign like this. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This keeps guns safely stored at home, out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, and out of the schools.
What’s not to like about that?
Lori Van Orden is a volunteer with San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention.
photo credit: unmatched value