Over the weekend, there were at least 17 mass shootings across 10 states, including those in Washington state, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis, Southern California, Milwaukee and Baltimore, as reported by the Associated Press and smaller towns like Greenville, NC and Decatur, GA. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have now been 318 mass shootings – where four or more people were killed or injured, excluding the shooter – in 2023.
In response, Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, issued the following statement:
“Every weekend, our hearts break for the families and loved ones of the victims of mass shootings across the country. Three-day weekends are usually the worst. This weekend was no exception. Once again, our hearts go out to those irrevocably impacted by gun violence. Once again, our heartbreak is accompanied by frustration and anger that gun violence continues to plague our nation, leaving no community untouched.
“Mass shootings are so prevalent that we have gotten used to them. Even I have come to expect that every week will start by mourning the weekend’s gun violence deaths. We have to stop treating gun violence like it’s normal and immediately take action to end it. Public officials must implement policies proven to stop gun violence.
“We know how to stop mass shootings. 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, secure storage, and temporary transfer orders are proven to save lives and are remedies legislators can and must pass immediately. We are outraged by the refusal of public officials to pass and implement these policies. All of us — in every community across the nation — must demand action now.
“We must honor every victim by working to help end gun violence. We must use our voices to ensure that America stops accepting gun violence as an inevitability and, instead, enact policies and programs to prevent it.”
The Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund (SHPAF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization committed to protecting all children from gun violence in schools, homes, and communities. The SHP Action Fund advances a holistic policy platform that promotes gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education. The organization works at the state and federal level to pass nonpartisan legislation through inclusive partnerships, diverse grassroots education, and community mobilization. It is part of Sandy Hook Promise, founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.