Press Release

AFT Launches ‘Enough-Is-Enough’ Gun Reform Campaign

Teachers, Parents and Students Fan Out Around the Country with Actions at Cruz, Toomey Offices to Demand Gun Violence Prevention Laws, Join with David Hogg for March for Our Lives

For Release: 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers has launched a wave of national events to demand action on gun violence prevention, kicking off with vigils outside the offices of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today.

Educators, parents and students will send the message that “enough is enough” and that students, parents, educators and communities deserve commonsense gun safety laws now. The union also will be partnering with Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg in the lead up to the March for Our Lives on June 11.

“This is a public health crisis. Educators deserve to be able to teach and not be forced to be human shields to protect their students,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Parents and communities deserve to know their schools, stores and places of worship are safe.”

There is significant common ground on gun violence reform. Now, political leaders need to act and enact the gun safety legislation that 75 percent of Americans want.

“The heinous shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo have laid bare the crisis we’re facing here in America—again,” said Weingarten. “We can’t allow these preventable mass murders to keep happening, and we can’t allow this to be the new normal.

“The overwhelming majority of Americans want action on commonsense gun safety, and they want it now. That’s why we’re calling on senators to come together and pass proven and popular measures that will save lives and get guns out of the hands of would-be school shooters.”

This week, the union is taking action to call on political leaders to enact commonsense gun legislation. AFT Pennsylvania and Texas AFT, along with their locals PFT 400 and Education Austin, will kick off the events outside their senators’ offices today. Additional events will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

Media interested in attending please contact acrook@aft.org for additional details.

 

Austin, Texas

When: Tuesday May 31, at noon Central time

Where: Outside Sen. Ted Cruz’s office

What: Educators, students, parents, faith leaders and community members will meet outside the Texas AFL-CIO’s office and march to Cruz’s office to demand action.

Texas AFL-CIO’s office: 1106 Lavaca St., Austin TX 78701

Cruz’s office: 300 E. 8th St., Austin TX 78701

 

Pittsburgh

When: Tuesday, May 31, at 4 pm Eastern time

Where: Outside Sen. Pat Toomey’s office

301 Grant St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219

What: Vigil with educators, students, parents, faith leaders and community members.

 

AFT members have been active on gun violence prevention for years. Three members started Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence last year, and the union is working with them to make sure educators are informed and empowered.

Last week, the AFT held a roundtable in Houston outside the NRA convention with members, students and parents affected by gun violence, and then joined the rally outside.

This week, on Thursday, June 2, the union will participate in a community event in Buffalo, N.Y. And Weingarten and AFT members will be wearing orange with parents, families, students, educators and other community members during National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend, starting June 3.

“We are so tired of this; the pain and the trauma that these families are experiencing is indescribable—and preventable,” said Weingarten. “I still mourn the students and AFT members murdered in Newtown, in Parkland, and across the country in the more than 330 school shootings since Columbine. While we mourn, and as we support survivors, I want us all to recommit ourselves to ending gun violence.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.