February 15, 2019

One Year After Parkland Shooting, Senator Warren, Rep. Clark Call for Renewed Federal Investigation into Gun Violence in Schools

Following Trump Administration's toothless report, Warren and Clark call for new investigation into dangers of gun violence and solutions to violence in schools

 Text of the Letter (PDF)

Washington, DC - Yesterday, on the one-year anniversary of the deadliest high school shooting in American history, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Representative Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) called for a new investigation to re-examine the danger that gun violence poses to our nation's children and the solutions to this violence in our schools and on our streets.

In the immediate aftermath of the Parkland shooting, which claimed the lives of 17 innocent students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, President Trump tapped Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to lead the Federal Commission on School Safety in conducting an investigation into "school safety and the culture of violence." Late last year, the Commission issued a toothless report that ignored the connection between loose restrictions on gun sales and school violence. It contained zero references to semi-automatic or automatic weapons, concluded there was no evidence that minimum age laws for firearm purchases would reduce gun violence, and called vaguely for more research without addressing the limitations on CDC research into gun violence.

The Commission's recommendations and conclusions directly contradict the views of Massachusetts educators, administrators, and parents. Last August, Senator Warren and Representative Clark wrote to Secretary DeVos to share the results of a survey of stakeholders in the Massachusetts education system. The survey revealed that nearly 70 percent of respondents cited firearm access as a primary cause of gun violence in school.

In the letter they sent yesterday, Senator Warren and Rep. Clark wrote to Secretary DeVos, "It is now clear that you failed to consider the concerns of our constituents and the American public. Your report fails to fully examine how gun violence has impacted a generation of American children, and it neglects to consider what the federal government can do to protect our kids. Your commission has failed American students."

Massachusetts consistently reports the lowest gun death rates in the U.S., in part because it has adopted commonsense gun safety measures, including an assault weapons ban, restrictions on magazine capacity, background checks for private sales, and extreme risk protection orders.

Senator Warren has long advocated for legislation that would enact these measures at the federal level to protect students and communities all across the country from gun violence.

Sen. Warren and Rep. Clark concluded:  "Today is the one-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting. We owe it to the students of Parkland-and to every student in America-to exhaustively consider every policy option to reduce gun violence in schools."