Secretary Of Education Duncan, College Presidents, Students And Mayors Against Illegal Guns Call On Congress To Prevent Gun Violence

Feb 04, 2013, 13:30 ET from Mayors Against Illegal Guns

350 College Presidents Signed Letter Calling for Action on Gun Violence; More than 25 Presidents Stand Together in Washington to Demand Congress Pass Common-Sense Gun Reforms;

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- College presidents from across the country gathered in Washington, DC today and joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and leaders from the United States Student Association (USSA), International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and Mayors Against Illegal Guns to demand that Congress take action to end the epidemic of gun violence that kills 33 Americans every day.  

Since the Newtown shooting, 350 college presidents have come together through College Presidents for Gun Safety, as well as the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities (AAU) on behalf of their 60 U.S. university members, to sign a letter calling for political leaders to take concrete steps to prevent gun violence. 

The college presidents today endorsed common sense gun reform legislation that will: 

  • Require that every gun buyer pass a criminal background check
  • Get military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off our streets
  • Make gun trafficking a federal crime. 

The higher education leaders also expressed their collective opinion that arming students and faculty on college campuses, as the NRA has proposed, will make us less safe, not more safe.

Statements from Participants at Today's Event:
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
"The opportunity to go to college is a pillar of the American Dream, but guns and violence have cut short that dream for too many of our students. President Obama and I agree with education leaders from preschool through college: outside of trained law enforcement officers, guns have no place in our schools or on our campuses. Now is the time to act, so students can learn free from fear."

Dr. Lawrence Schall, President of Oglethorpe University (Atlanta, Ga.)
"College and university presidents certainly don't agree on every major issue facing our nation. But when it comes to ensuring the safety of our students, our communities, and our country, there is broad consensus that we need to come together and speak out. Today, I am proud to join my fellow educators to urge congressional action for rational gun legislation and expanded mental health services for young people. We can no longer afford to remain silent while 33 Americans are being murdered with guns every day."

Dr. Hunter Rawlings, President of the Association of American Universities
"The AAU does not believe that more guns on campus are the answer to student safety at our universities.  Instead, we urge the President and Congress to seek effective means of mitigating gun violence in American life by taking meaningful action in three domains:  stronger laws to prevent gun violence, care of the mentally ill, and the culture of contemporary media.  With respect to guns, requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales and taking military-style assault weapons off our streets will help save lives plain and simple."

Tiffany Loftin, President of the United States Student Association (USSA)
"We have seen far too many friends and family members lost to gun violence – on our streets, in our communities, and even on our college campuses. Gun violence is a national problem that requires a national solution. On behalf of students across the United States, I urge our leaders in Washington to stand up for safety for young people everywhere. We can't continue to wait, we need to act now."

Chief Michael Webster, McDaniel College, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence
"Arming college students and faculty is a dangerous proposal that campus law enforcement officials strongly disavow. In the fight to end gun violence, the answer isn't more firearms. What we need are tougher laws that will help keep guns out of the wrong hands. It's time for Congress to join college presidents, students, and law enforcement in our push for common-sense reforms that put safety first."

Mark Glaze, Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns
"We've seen the horrors of gun violence on our college campuses before. The country will never forget the massacre at Virginia Tech, and the 32 innocent students and faculty who lost their lives that day. Our national coalition is extremely grateful to the 350 college presidents who have joined together to demand common-sense gun reforms like background checks for all gun sales. They are part of a growing chorus of Americans calling for action – Washington is starting to listen."

College Presidents Participating in Today's Event:

Elizabeth Kiss, Agnes Scott College (GA)

James Edwards, Anderson University (IN)

Elizabeth Coleman, Bennington College (VT)

Scott D. Miller, Bethany College (WV)

Ed Schrader, Brenau University (GA)

John Smarrelli Jr., Christian Brothers University (TN)

Dale T. Knobel, Denison University (OH)

Loren Swartzendruber, Eastern Mennonite University (VA)

Lee Pelton, Emerson College (MA)

Richard Meyers, Fielding Graduate University (CA)

Janet Morgan Riggs, Gettysburg College (PA)

Sanford J. Ungar, Goucher College (MD)

Margaret Drugovich, Hartwick College (NY)

Axel Steuer, Illinois College (IL)

Jim Collins, Loras College (IA)

Rick Torgerson, Luther College (IA)

David Wilson, Morgan State University (MD)

Peyton Helm, Muhlenberg College (PA)

Lawrence M. Schall, Oglethorpe University (GA)

Rock Jones, Ohio Wesleyan University (OH)

Jim Dlugos, Saint Joseph's College of Maine (ME)

Carol Ann Mooney, Saint Mary's College (IN)

Dottie King, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (IN)

George Arnold, Silver Lake College of the Holy Family (WI)

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College (GA)

Samuel Stanley, Stony Brook University (NY)

Judith Huntington, The College of New Rochelle (NY)

Ronald R. Thomas, University of Puget Sound (WA)

Pamela Trotman Reid, University of Saint Joseph (CT)

Weymouth Spence, Washington Adventist University (MD)

Richard H. Dorman, Westminster College (PA)

About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors to more than 850 mayors from across the country. We have more than one million grassroots supporters, making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country.  The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable; demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.  Learn more at

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