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In a historic move, the White House has created the first-ever federal office dedicated solely to gun violence prevention, and all we can say is — it’s about time. The White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention will be overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris and led by President Biden’s longtime gun policy advisor, Stefanie Feldman. Per The Washington Post, gun violence survivor and executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund, Greg Jackson, and senior director for federal government affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety, Rob Wilcox, will have crucial roles in the office as well.
Vice President Harris announced the big news via her official Instagram account today, calling it “the most significant gun safety legislation in 30 years.”
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“[W]e are doing this in large part because of the activism, the organizing, the marching, the voting of all of you leaders — whether it be students, parents, teachers, community leaders — who understand that living free from gun violence should be a right,” V.P. Harris said.
Shannon Watts, founder of grassroots gun violence prevention organization Moms Demand Action, also posted the official announcement on her Instagram. “This new, single point of leadership on gun violence in the administration is a very big deal for the gun safety movement,” she wrote. “For years, @momsdemand volunteers, activists and survivors have advocated for a centralized team dedicated to coordinating federal and state resources and mobilizing movement partners.” She went on to say that the new office is “a significant turning point for the movement and the nation on the issue of gun violence.”
At a time when gun violence has surpassed car accidents as the number one cause of death for children, and we don’t feel safe sending our children to school because of gut-wrenching tragedies like Uvalde, the creation of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention feels like a major step in the right direction. This year alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 31,000 deaths from gun violence — and the year isn’t even over. But wait, there’s (unfortunately) more; new federal data published this month showed that school shootings with casualties have hit an all-time high for the second year in a row.
As Vice President Harris pointed out in her announcement, “[L]et’s be clear — we have more work to do.” But the Biden-Harris administration has, despite constant opposition, delivered so far on its promises to prioritize gun safety. And this important step feels far more promising than simply “thoughts and prayers”.
These celebrity parents have used their platformto speak out about gun law reform.
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