Vice President Harris Makes Case for Gun Reform During NEA Annual Meeting

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Image: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks, near the scene of a mass shooting yesterday during a Fourth of July parade, on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Authorities have charged Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, with seven counts of first-degree murder in the attack that also injured 47, according to published reports. Image: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images.

Less than a month ago, Vice President Kamala Harris convened a group of faith leaders, requesting their support on matters including the public health epidemic of gun violence. The meeting came on the heels of yet another school shooting in Uvalde, Texas and a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York

On Tuesday, at the National Education Association 2022 Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly in Chicago, the Vice President’s remarks echoed the same fears she shared just a few short weeks ago. Because on Monday, another mass shooting occurred in Illinois, less than an hour away. 

“We must protect our communities from the terror of gun violence,” Vice President Harris told attendees. “You know, I’ve said it before: Enough is enough.”

According to an analysis by The Marshall Project, mass shootings are undeniably on the rise. Despite the high-profile cases followed closely by mainstream media, there are a number of others—309 as of this weekend—that underscore a concerning trend. A total of 27 shootings have taken place in schools. 

“I mean, here we are, and our nation is still mourning the loss of those 19 babies and their two teachers in Uvalde. This massacre was the most recent reminder—in Uvalde—of the risks that our children and our educators face every day,” Harris said. “Teachers should not have to practice barricading a classroom. Teachers should not have to know how to treat a gunshot wound.  And teachers should not be told that “Lives would have been saved if only you had a gun.” 

Harris insists that under the Biden Administration progress has been made. For the first time in 30 years, there is a federal gun safety bill that strengthens background checks, closes loopholes, and includes funding for mental health services and school security. But the ability for bad actors to obtain guns is still present. It’s why Harris says Congress must stop protecting gun manufacturers with the liability shield. And called for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to be repealed. 

 “An assault weapon is designed to kill a lot of human beings quickly,” Harris asserted. “There is no reason that we have weapons of war on the streets of America.  We need reasonable gun safety laws.”

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