As Homecoming season kicks off, incidents of gun violence are impacting college communities across the country, turning celebrations into tragedy. This weekend alone, there were at least four shootings on or around university campuses, including two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), leaving more than a dozen people wounded and leaving permanent scars on survivors and entire communities.
On Saturday night, gunfire broke out during a Homecoming concert at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. According to reports, at least two people were shot and wounded, and several others were injured in the aftermath. Later that same night in Georgia, at least four people were shot and wounded during a Homecoming gathering at the Clark Atlanta University Center, including two Clark Atlanta students. In Harrisonburg, Virginia, eight people were shot and wounded near James Madison University on Sunday. And later that evening, a teenager was shot and killed near Ohio State University.
“We shouldn’t have to live in fear of gun violence on our campuses or in our communities,” said Jackie Azah, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Georgia and a fourth year student at Clark Atlanta University. “We won’t accept a reality where shots can ring out at any moment, and we will continue to fight until we can all walk around our campuses or attend celebrations without worrying about our safety.”
“No other peer nation experiences or would tolerate the constant gun violence that threatens families and communities in America,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “This is an America the gun industry has created — one in which college students can’t enjoy Homecoming celebrations without fearing for their lives.”
As stories of mass killings, daily shootings, and hate-motivated violence continue to overwhelm the news, the need for common sense gun safety laws is more critical than ever. Research shows that strong gun laws save lives, but across the country, some state lawmakers are actively working to weaken existing protections. Lawmakers at every level have an important role to play in making our communities safe. They must prioritize a common sense gun safety agenda to save lives and put an end to the senseless acts of violence permeating our daily lives.
To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.