On Friday, February 14, two years after the gun massacre in Parkland Florida, Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence, in cooperation with CeaseFirePA, Progress PA, Bend the Arc Pittsburgh and numerous community partners (see below) hosted three actions to TELL TURZAI - STOP GUN SUICIDES.
Early in the week we mailed letters and posters telling Speaker Turzai that he needs to get the state house judiciary committee to move good gun bills which have been sitting there for a year. Bills to establish universal background checks (HB673) and extreme risk protection orders (ERPOS, formerly known as red flag laws, HB1075) have been gathering dust in Judiciary Chair Rob Kauffman's committee.
On Friday, constituents and local gun safety supporters rallied at Representative Turzai's McCandless office, while Pennsylvanians across the state called in to his McCandless and Harrisburg offices with the same message. After remarks by Dana Kellerman of SHS, Rob Conroy of CeaseFirePA and Carolyn Gibbs of Progress PA, we delivered our message to Rep. Turzai's staffers. Folks told of how these bills could have made a difference in their own lives and how Speaker Turzai has the opportunity to do the right thing, leave a meaningful legacy and most importantly, to save lives.
National, community and faith organizations that supported our effort and participated in the mail in action and call in day include Temple Sinai Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice, Bidwell Presbyterian Church, Systemic Change Team of the Unitarian Universalists of the North Hills, Sixth Presbyterian Church, Casa San Jose, Council on American Islamic Relations - Pittsburgh (CAIR), Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN), Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP), Center of Life, Hazelwood Pittsburgh, Students Demand Action - Taylor Alderdice, Global Switchboard, Amnesty International Group 39, Voices Against Violence, Black Women for Positive Change, Brady United, and the Orange Wave for Gun Safety. Thank you all!