LAS VEGAS – Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements in response to a shooting on University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. While details are still unfolding, law enforcement has announced the shooter is dead.
“It’s horrific to see that Las Vegas is once again grappling with such senseless violence. Our hearts are breaking for the victims, their families, and the greater UNLV community,” said Angela Ferell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “There is no excuse for lawmakers who witness students getting gunned down on their campuses over and over again, and still refuse to implement basic gun safety laws.”
“We’re absolutely devastated for the victims of this senseless shooting and the entire UNLV community that’s been wrecked by this tragedy,” said Coco Zhang, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Las Vegas, Nevada.“It’s wild to even have to say this, but our schools shouldn’t be plagued by gun violence. We should feel safe going to class, not worrying about whether we might get shot. To our lawmakers, how many more of us have to die before we put an end to this crisis?”
“I know the entire UNLV family is united in our sadness and horror,” said Linda Cavazos, a Trustee on the Clark County School Board, UNLV alumnae and former UNLV adjunct professor. “As a survivor of gun violence, I’ve dedicated my life to the safety and security of students in Las Vegas. And now, more of my friends, colleagues and members of the UNLV community have been sentenced to lifelong journeys of grief and trauma. We’ll be standing together in the days to come as we mourn the lives lost, try to heal, and continue fighting to prevent senseless gun violence from happening in the future.”
Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Nevada and an average of 41 children and teens die by guns every year in the state. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children, teens, and college-aged people (ages 1 to 25) in the United States. Every year, nearly 19,000 children and teens are shot and killed or wounded and approximately three million are exposed to gun violence. Children and teens in the U.S. are impacted by gun violence in all its forms.
Exposure to gun violence has an impact on the psychological and mental well-being of children and teens and affects their school performance, among other factors. People are also harmed when a friend or family member is killed with a gun, when someone they know is shot, and when they witness and hear gunshots.
UNLV is located just a few miles from the site of the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, which left at least 60 people dead and at least 411 people wounded.
Nevada has a mixture of good and bad gun laws and despite efforts by the Governor, gun sense lawmakers in Nevada continue to fight for gun violence prevention legislation. This session, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo vetoed a trio of gun safety bills. The measures sought to prohibit those convicted of hate crimes from possessing firearms, prohibit guns at and around polling places, and raise the age to possess semiautomatic assault weapons to 21. Governor Lombardo’s inaction is actively making the state more dangerous and should focus on saving lives over playing politics.
More information about gun violence in Nevada is available here.