On May 24th, an active shooter took the lives of 19 students and 2 teachers in a mass school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
In 2022 alone, there have been over 200 mass shootings and 27 school shootings in the United States. Looking through a global lens, the US has the most school shootings of any country in the world by a substantial margin. With the attacks in Buffalo and Laguna Woods Church still so fresh, many are citing overall gun violence as one of the most pressing epidemics currently in our country.
As we mourn collectively as a nation, many of us are wondering what we can do to help prevent such senseless, horrific tragedies and stop these staggering statistics from growing any higher. With so many of us now feeling unsafe to send our children to or work in a school — let alone go to any public gatherings — we’ve covered what you need to know about local New Jersey gun laws as well as how locals can get involved to help prevent gun violence.
All of us on the The Montclair Girl team are keeping the Uvalde community and everyone affected by gun violence in our hearts.
Organizations Against Gun Violence
Everytown for Gun Safety is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing gun violence — and it’s the largest organization of its kind in America. It focuses on registering voters, spreading awareness and education, organizing events, demanding change from elected officials, and more — and it has local chapters in each state with a take action page that details ways you can get involved locally. You can donate, find events in New Jersey, become a volunteer, help contact local officials, and more. You can join the Facebook group here.
Moms Demand Action is also a part of Everytown for Gun Safety. It’s a grassroots movement that fights for public safety measures to protect people from gun violence.
The group was founded by Shannon Watts, a mother of five, immediately after the Sandy Hook tragedy. Shannon began a Facebook group as a call to action for Americans to reduce gun violence. This initial post sparked a movement of moms, dads, students, families, concerned citizens, and survivors who work alongside Moms Demand Action partners in the gun violence prevention movement to help put a stop to these shootings.
Moms Demand Action has a volunteer chapter in every state. You can find a list of their events here and join the Facebook group here. The Facebook group is a great resource to hear about local events and happenings — and a Hoboken Councilwoman, Emily Ball Jabbour, is an admin of the page as well as a volunteer for Moms Demand Action.
To donate, click here.
In 2013, Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, Hadiya’s friends decided to honor her by wearing orange — which is the color hunters wear to protect themselves when out in the woods.
The Wear Orange movement began on June 2nd, 2015, which would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. It has since expanded to a period of three days each year: National Gun Violence Awareness Day (the first Friday in June) and Wear Orange Weekend (the first weekend in June). This year, Wear Orange will take place from June 3rd -5th, 2022.
There are many ways to get involved in Wear Orange — from attending events to creating posters to sharing on social media. New Jersey will be hosting many Wear Orange events throughout the state starting the first week in June.
You can purchase Wear Orange products (which are a donation to the organization) here.
New Jersey Laws + Response
New Jersey gun laws are some of the strongest in the country. According to Everytown, NJ has comprehensive background checks and required permits for gun ownership, laws that prevent domestic abusers from obtaining guns, and an Extreme Risk law that stops someone in an evident crisis from getting a weapon, to name a few. There’s also an extensive concealed carry permitting system in place. As a result, NJ has the third-lowest rate of firearm deaths in the country.
Governor Phil Murphy announced today that he would be taking further action to improve school safety in light of the Uvalde shooting by increasing law enforcement presence at schools throughout New Jersey.
While there are no credible threats, @NewJerseyOAG has directed law enforcement to increase their presence at schools throughout New Jersey effective immediately. The @NJSP will increase their presence at the schools where Troopers are the primary law enforcement.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 25, 2022
Governor Murphy also tweeted that he would be holding a press conference on May 25th at 12:00PM to push for the passage of comprehensive gun safety legislation.