The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement today in response to a shooting at Denver East High School that left two staff members wounded. The shooting sent the school into lockdown this morning and follows a string of incidents impacting the school community. This school year alone, the students of Denver East High School have faced the shootings of two students, and just recently, the death of a classmate, 16 year-old Luis Garcia, as well as multiple shooting threats, countless lockdowns, and a swatting incident. The shooting also follows news of two other high school shootings this week — one at Lamar High School in Arlington, Texas, and another at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas.
“This is the reality of being young in America: sitting through a shooting and waiting for information just hours before you’re scheduled to testify in support of gun safety bills,” said Gracie Taub, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Colorado and co-lead for Denver East High School Students Demand Action. “Our school experience should not be completely shaped by gun violence, and every single incident is traumatizing for our entire community. We are calling on lawmakers to meet this moment with the urgency it needs — we can’t sit around waiting for another tragedy to happen.”
Denver-area high school students, including one student from Denver East High School, will testify today at the Colorado House Judiciary committee hearing at 1:30 PM MT. The bills being heard include Senate Bill 23-170 and Senate Bill 23-168. They are part of Colorado lawmakers’ historic gun safety legislative package that also includes measures to expand the state’s Extreme Risk law, to raise the firearm purchase age to 21, to create a mandatory firearm purchase waiting period, and to help hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable for their role in the gun violence crisis.
The Students Demand Action group at Denver East High School has led the fight for common-sense gun safety solutions. Earlier this month, the group hosted a summit to discuss gun safety solutions with State Representatives Elisabeth Epps and Alex Valdez, and State Senator Dr. Chris Hansen, along with school administrators, district officials, law enforcement, local leaders, and fellow gun safety advocates. The week prior, they led more than 1,000 Colorado students and educators in a walkout to call for immediate action on gun safety. Following the walkout and a rally on the capitol steps, Students Demand Action and Moms Demand Action volunteers met with legislators urging them to continue taking action on gun safety.
If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Colorado Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please reach out to [email protected].