Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements addressing a shooting over the weekend in which a 12-year-old was killed and at least five other minors were wounded at the Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta on Saturday night. This shooting follows two mass shootings in the U.S. in less than two weeks, including the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado in which five people were killed and at least 18 more wounded, and the mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia in which six people were killed and at least four more were wounded by a store employee.
“Like many others in my community, my heart breaks for all of those affected by this senseless act of gun violence,” said Courtney Spriggs, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action in Georgia. “I am not alone in my concern and fear for the future of public safety in Georgia. As parents, we have had to deal with the devastating realization that our children’s lives can be taken from us at any time – in schools, shopping centers, and other public spaces. This upcoming legislative session we need lawmakers to side against the gun lobby and pass policies that will create healthier, happier futures and reduce gun violence in our state.”
Georgia has some of the weakest gun laws in the country and has the 10th-highest rate of gun violence in the US. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Georgia, with an average of 161 children and teens dying by guns every year. Despite this, the legislature continues to pass harmful legislation to weaken Georgia’s gun law, including this year’s permitless carry legislation, allowing guns to be carried nearly anywhere in the state—from the busy Atlanta airport to college campuses. To become a safer state, Georgia should enact legislation to repeal its dangerous Stand Your Ground law, keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and repeal Guns on Campus.
The rate of gun deaths has increased by 41 percent from 2011 to 2020 in Georgia. Annually, gun deaths and injuries cost Georgia $23.9 billion each year, of which $597.8 million is paid by taxpayers.