Approximately 35 people attended the first public meeting of Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence. We discussed our top four priorities for the current legislative session in Pennsylvania. They are (1) comprehensive background checks, (2) extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs), (3) limits on high capacity magazines and (4) a ban on military style weapons.
We discussed strategy, including phone calls and visits to legislators, a focus on key players in the state legislature with the power to block bills from discussion or a vote, social media and the power of the press. We also talked about community outreach and how gun violence is more than our story of mass shooting, but also suicide and the almost daily gun violence disproportionately experienced by communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities.
Attendees then signed up to act, selecting legislative action, community and faith outreach, social media and/or event planning to focus. We have upgraded our 'join' function with a brief survey to help you let us know how you want to participate in our work.
Why we are focusing on comprehensive background checks:
We know that more than 90% of the public support a background check for every gun sale. We know that in 2017 alone, over 180,000 attempted gun purchases were denied because the individual was prohibited from having a firearm. We also know that approximately 80% of the guns used in crimes are obtained through private sales. Requiring a background check on all private gun sales has the potential to save thousands of lives without taking any rights from law abiding gun owners. Read more about background checks.