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NEA Issue Explainer

Gun Violence Prevention

Students need safe environments to learn, live, and grow.
Educators hold up signs that read Protect Our Schools Photo by Patrick Ryan
NEA Members participate in the March For Our Lives rally against gun violence in Washington, D.C. in 2018
Published: December 2, 2021
This issue explainer originally appeared on

K-12 Public and Private Schools.
Shopping Malls. 
Fourth of July Parade. 
Entertainment District. 
Veterans Home. 
College Campuses. 
Movie theater. 
Lunar New Year Festival. 
Dance Studio. 
Military Base. 
Hotel bar. 
Nursing Home. 
LGBTQ Nightclubs. 
Country Music Festival. 
Private Households. 
Military Recruiting Office. 
Massage Parlor. 
Women’s Health Clinic. 


These are the places where Americans have been killed or wounded in mass shootings. 

Students deserve safe communities, schools, and campuses that promote their learning and development. But sadly, children and young people are surrounded by gun violence. 

According to the Pew Research Center’s recent analysis of federal data, the number of children and teens killed by gunfire in the U.S. increased by 50 percent between 2019 and 2021. 

Our students are coming of age in an era of mass shootings in grocery stores, malls, and banks, at Fourth of July parades, concerts, and places of worship—anywhere we gather. Massacres at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Umpqua Community College, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Robb Elementary, the Covenant School, and other schools have traumatized children, their families, and educators. 

Students should not have to endure drills on how to hide from mass murderers. Educators should not be forced to act as shields against assault weapons and make impossible choices to try to protect students from the worst horrors imaginable.  

97Percent, a bipartisan gun safety organization, unveiled research in October 2022 revealing that 70 percent of gun owners favor laws that would reduce gun injuries and deaths. We must come together to pass commonsense reforms, such as a ban on assault weapons and background checks on gun show sales and transfers.

Resources: Responding to Gun Violence

Educators Adela Ghadimi
“We need to have Congress act and take action that means something. To actually ensure that we don’t have to keep reliving these nightmares every couple of weeks.”
Quote by: Adela Ghadimi, Graduate Assistant, Florida

Speak Up For Students and Public Schools

When we act together and lift our voices together in unison, we can improve the lives of children.
Members march down the street wearing red and carrying signs.

Together we're stronger. Together we're heard.

You belong in the movement! Join today to belong to the movement of educators and school staff fighting for the pay and working conditions we all deserve.

Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).