Following charges of involuntary manslaughter being made against the parents of the perpetrator of the mass shooting at Oxford High School that left four students dead and seven others wounded, Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, writes in The Washington Post that these “charges should serve as an example for other law enforcement officers across the country”:
“Similar scenarios have played out again and again at American schools over the past 20 years. But this time, significantly, a Michigan prosecutor took the rare step of holding the shooter’s parents accountable for the role they may have played in enabling the massacre. The charges should serve as an example for other law enforcement officers across the country.
“This is a wake-up call for the gun-owning parents and guardians of the estimated 5.4 million children who live in homes with unsecured firearms. We must change the conversation in America about school shootings, which have historically focused on reactive ways school officials or police can stop an armed child from opening fire. Instead, we must put proactive policies in place to keep guns away from students and out of schools in the first place. That starts with secure gun storage.
“Every nation is home to troubled teens, but only the United States gives them easy access to arsenals. That’s why between August and October of this year, there were at least 89 instances of gunfire on school grounds, leaving 15 people dead and 63 others wounded. That’s the highest number of shooting instances for comparable time periods since our organization started tracking these shootings in 2013. The spike was significant, nearly triple the previous high of 33 instances during the same period in 2019.
“We know what we must do to solve this problem; the research and data are clear. Instead of relying on reactive and unproven stopgaps to mitigate the next school shooting, we must demand our elected officials act now to pass lifesaving gun safety laws. And we must make sure parents, relatives and guardians hear the message loud and clear that secure gun storage is part of being a responsible gun owner and are given the information and training on how to do it.”
Read the full column here, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to schedule an interview.