Chapel Hill, N.C. – The North Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement in response to a shooting Monday afternoon on the University of North Carolina’s graduate school campus. According to reports, one faculty member has been shot and killed.
“We couldn’t even make it two weeks into the new school year without gun violence wreaking havoc on our campus,” said Mitchell Pinsky, a Students Demand Action volunteer, and Graduate Student at UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina. “It doesn’t have to be this way. Thoughts and prayers mean nothing when students have to keep hiding and running for their lives, unsure if they will make it home from class alive. These shootings are preventable, but only if lawmakers have the courage and decency to act. Our lives are worth standing up for, our lives are worth more than the gun lobby’s money, and our lives are worth saving.”
This past session, North Carolina passed a dangerous bill that repealed the background check requirement for unlicensed handgun sales. The bill was vetoed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, but then overridden by the legislature. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children, teens, and college-aged people (ages 1 to 25 ) in the United States. Every year, 18,000 children and teens are shot and killed or wounded and approximately 3 million are exposed to gun violence. Children and teens in the U.S. are impacted by gun violence in all its forms. Exposure to gun violence has an impact on the psychological and mental well-being of children and teens and affects their school performance, among other factors.
Children and teens in the U.S. experience staggeringly high rates of gun deaths and injuries. They are also harmed when a friend or family member is killed with a gun, when someone they know is shot, and when they witness and hear gunshots.
North Carolina has the 14th-highest rate of gun violence in the US, and North Carolina is missing key firearm laws, scoring only 31 out of 100 for gun law strength while maintaining the 16th-highest rate of gun homicides in the United States. To protect North Carolinians, the state should reverse its current course and reinstate its permit requirement, expand its domestic violence laws to prohibit abusers from possessing firearms and enact an Extreme Risk law to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms.
In an average year, 1,588 people are killed by guns in the state, with a 47% death increase from 2012 to 2021, compared to a 39% increase nationwide. Gun violence costs North Carolina around $19.5 billion each year. More information about gun violence in North Carolina is available here.