Children of Bellevue Statement on Gun Violence

There were 13 mass shootings in the first weekend in June, fewer than two weeks after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, marking the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Different sources vary on the definition of a mass shooting, but the US Department of Justice, the Congressional Research Service and the Gun Violence Archive all define it as an incident where four or more people were shot, not counting the shooter as a victim 1 . As of June 7 th , 2022 246 mass shootings have occurred in the United States. More than 18,800 people have died due to gun violence overall in 2022 2 .

Whether the tragedy occurs in Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Buffalo, or Uvalde, the Board of Directors and staff of Children of Bellevue are heartbroken by the tragic loss of life – particularly the lives of innocent children. We stand with those who grieve while acknowledging that the time for offering words of comfort has long passed. We lend our voices to the calls for action by our elected officials.

We support the gun control legislation signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday which saw New York raise the age (from 18 to 21) for people to be able to purchase semiautomatic weapons and prohibiting the sale and purchase of body armor for anyone not in law enforcement. These new rules, in addition to the strengthening of existing “red flag” laws (which allow courts to temporarily take away guns from people who might be a threat to themselves or others) are welcome changes which will help to prevent future acts of gun violence. But changes in New York are not enough.

We await the formal legislation which emerges from the bipartisan negotiations which occurred this weekend among members of the United States Senate. If successful, this would be the first new gun control legislation to be enacted in nearly three decades. We look forward to supporting and celebrating meaningful progress on gun control and gun safety measures at the city, state, and national level.

To read the official statement from the Office of the Mayor please click here.