Public Awareness Campaign
“Every day in this country, 316 people are shot. Every single day. 106 of them die every day. Our flag was still flying at half staff for the victims of the horrific murder of eight primarily Asian-American people in Georgia when 10 more lives were taken in a mass murder in Colorado. You probably didn’t hear it, but between those two incidents, less than one week apart, there were more than 850 additional shootings. 850 that took the lives of more than 250 people and left 500 injured. This is an epidemic, for God’s sake, and it has to stop.
“…[D]uring my campaign for president, I wanted to make it easier for states to adopt extreme risk protection order laws. They’re also called “Red Flag Laws,” which everybody in this lawn knows, but many people listening do not know. These laws allow police or a family member to petition a court in their jurisdiction and say, “I want you to temporarily move from the following people any firearm they may possess because they’re a danger and a crisis. They’re presenting a danger to themselves and to others.” And the court makes a ruling.
“To put this in perspective more than half of all suicides, for example, involve the use of a firearm. But when a gun is not available an attempt at suicide, the death rate drops precipitously. States that have Red Flag Laws have seen the reduction in the number of suicides in their states.
“Every single month … an average of 53 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner. We know red flag laws can have a significant effect in protecting women from domestic violence. And we know red flag laws can stop mass shooters before they can act out their violent plans.
“…I’m proud that the Red Flag Law in my home state of Delaware was named after my son, Attorney General Beau Biden, our son, excuse me, Jill, who proposed that legislation back in 2013. I want to see a national Red Flag Law and legislation to incentivize states to enact their own Red Flag Laws.
“Today, I asked the Justice Department to publish a model Red Flag legislation, so States can start crafting their own laws right now. Just like with background checks, the vast majority of Americans support these extreme risk protection order laws, and it’s time to put these laws on the books and protect even more people.”
– President Joe Biden, April 8, 2021
Read the full transcript of the press event here: www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/joe-biden-merrick-garland-press-conference-transcript-action-on-gun-violence-prevention
Safer Country, the Alexandria-based gun violence prevention nonprofit, cares deeply about gun safety legislation and its implementation in Virginia and nationally.
Our mission is to keep guns out of unsafe hands and our top priority is raising public awareness of how people may use red flag laws to protect lives – particularly women at risk from domestic violence and men thinking of committing suicide by gun. Remarkably, none of the 19 states with such a law (two have Republican-controlled governments – Indiana and Florida) has made a concerted effort to educate its residents. Find more information at safercountry.org/programming.
We are currently working to create public awareness campaigns on our own and with non-governmental and governmental entities.
These laws enable the police to investigate and seek a court order to temporarily remove a gun from individuals who have been determined to be an imminent danger to themselves or others. Some versions of the law allow family members, health-care professionals and specified others to petition a court directly. For more details on red flag laws, visit safercountry.org/programming/.
It’s not enough to pass red flag laws though. As the President said amid activists at the White House, everyone here knows about them, but “many people listening do not know.”
Ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s killing people. It’s time for state public awareness campaigns.
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