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Students, Leaders Call for Gun Laws

Students, School Leaders Join National Call For Stronger Gun Laws
Posted on 06/10/2022
Students protesting gun violence

Across San Diego Unified, students have been holding marches and protests to call for stricter gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.  The latest schools to hold protests were Patrick Henry High School, Mission Bay High School, and San Diego High School.

“I’m a teenager and I’m talking about how we need gun control in our country, when really it should be the politicians and the adults having that kind of discussion,” Shukriya Osman, a junior at Patrick Henry, told Fox 5 news. "Anybody who’s 18 can have access to a rifle. That’s insane.”

The Board of Education is also urging national leaders to take immediate action, calling on the U.S. Senate to approve House Resolution 7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act.

H.R. 7910, which recently passed the House, would raise the legal age to buy certain semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21 years old, establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and for selling large-capacity magazines, and take steps to strengthen existing regulations on bump stocks and ghost guns.

On Saturday, June 11, there will be rallies across San Diego to call for action in Congress.

  • From 10-12, there will be a march to end gun violence beginning at Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway.
  • There will be a community gathering from 1-4pm at Jeremy Henwood Park, 3700 44th Street
  • Board President Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne and other city leaders will be taking part in a gun violence forum at Charity Apostolic Church at 635 E. 7th Street in National City.


“Gun violence is a preventable tragedy, and yet, it is now the leading cause of death among young people,” the Board said in a letter demanding national action to prevent future deaths.

“We have spent more than $100 million dollars in recent years to harden our campuses, including many of the safety measures currently being touted by those looking for an excuse not to act on responsible gun regulation – improvements like single points of entry and automatically locking doors.”

“None of these measures can halt the endless flow of deadly weapons into the communities where our students live. We recently lost a 14-year-old young man to gun violence. The fact he wasn’t killed on campus does nothing to comfort his family, friends and classmates,” the Board said.

A few days before the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo and two weeks before the killings at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, the Board of Education repeated calls for stricter gun laws, on May 10. The measure from Board President Dr. Whitehurst-Payne and Board Vice President Sabrina Bazzo was endorsed by Mayor Todd Gloria and passed unanimously.

“We have gone on record supporting common-sense reforms,” said the Board in their letter to Congress. “Our families, our communities, and our places of business are depending on you. Stand with us and the American public. Put the safety of your constituents and their children first. Transcend partisanship and work together to pass bold legislation to address gun violence in our country.”

Steps Everyone can take to help end Gun Violence

Don’t wait for an actual threat—trust your instincts. Talk to your students about reporting a student who posts a picture with a gun, or who is violent toward other children or animals. Ask them to not keep it a secret by letting them know that there are trained adults who can help. Report to an adult at school or to local law enforcement.

See something, say something: Encourage your students to report any changes in behavior expressed through words, actions or feelings, such as:

  • Words: “I just want to shoot someone,” or “Sometimes I want to just end it all.”
  • Actions: Looking online for a firearm, making a plan to hurt someone, bullying or being bullied, increasing use of substances.
  • Feelings: Depression, withdrawal, anger, having intrusive thoughts, sleeping more or less than usual.

Recognize risk factors and warning signs of suicide and depression: Learn about suicide prevention by familiarizing yourself with the National SuicidePreventionLifeline.org or the California statewide initiative, “Know the Signs.” If you or someone you know is in distress, contact the 24/7 free/confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255 or the BHRS Access Line: 1-888-818-1115. Or, text MARIN to 741741. [For the Spanish version, Suicide and Crisis Hotline is 1-888-628-9454.]

Gun violence restraining orders (GVROs) allow guns to be removed from the home temporarily—and prevent further purchases—when someone is at risk of harming themselves or others. Families or teachers can apply to a court for a GVRO directly, and anyone can ask law enforcement for a GVRO to remove firearms from individuals who may be violent or in crisis.

In recent years, cities like San Diego have seen a rise in the availability of so-called ghost guns. These cheap guns can be assembled at home and are almost impossible to trace. Although they are now banned in San Diego, thousands are already on the streets. Here is what to look for: https://www.bradyunited.org/fact-sheets/what-are-ghost-guns

If you are a gun owner, always store guns locked, unloaded and out of reach, with ammunition locked separately. Under child access prevention laws, gun owners can be criminally liable when children have access to guns. From trigger locks to gun safes, there are secure storage solutions for every home. Children must not have access to safe codes or keys. If you are not confident about gun ownership, consider different options.

Talk about guns with people close to you: Having regular conversations about locking weapons and gun safety reduces the chance of unintentional shootings. For more information on how to keep your family and community safe, please check out resources such as: