Students Demand Action Launches #KillerBusiness Campaign Calling for Colleges and Universities Nationwide to Divest From the Gun Industry
Announcement Comes on the Heels of Mass Shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, Incidents of Gun Violence Across the Country
NEW YORK — Today, Students Demand Action, a grassroots network of Everytown for Gun Safety in partnership with Everytown Support Fund, launched #KillerBusiness, a campaign calling on colleges and universities nationwide to divest from the firearms industry. Gun violence is the number one killer of children and teens, and kills 40,000 Americans per year and wounds twice as many more, all while the gun industry — which rakes in an estimated $9 billion each year — has refused calls to make its products safer and halt dangerous marketing practices, often focused at our nation’s youth.
The announcement of the campaign, part of a larger push for gun industry accountability from Students Demand Action volunteers across the country, comes at the tail end of a tragic week in America. On Sunday, 11 people were killed and several others were wounded in a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California. The next day, seven people were shot and killed in another mass shooting in Half Moon Bay, and all across the country, communities were impacted by incidents of gun violence that didn’t make headlines.
“We refuse to see our schools’ money invested in an industry that won’t even take simple steps to keep us safe,” said Ade Osadolor-Hernandez, a volunteer with Students Demand Action and a student at the University of Chicago. “The gun industry must be held accountable for its deadly practices, and we will work tirelessly to make sure that colleges and universities across the country divest from this killer business.”
“Our money shouldn’t be going to endowments that support an industry profiting off tragedies like the one I survived,” said Sari Kaufman, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, Parkland shooting survivor and a student at Yale University. “We’ve had enough, and this year, we’re bringing the fight for accountability to our campuses too.”
Students Demand Action volunteers are asking colleges and universities to cut economic ties with the gun industry until these companies take accountability for their harmful practices. Throughout the #KillerBusiness campaign, college students around the country will be organizing on their campuses to hold their schools accountable for their investments and the economic role they play in supporting a killer industry.
As the gun industry enables and profits off of the harm inflicted on our communities and our economy, gun companies have doubled down on their business practices, placing profits over human lives and refusing to take responsibility for the violence they enable.
Volunteers and gun violence survivors with Students Demand Action recently released a comprehensive list of common sense steps the gun industry can take to reduce harm, and they are asking their schools to divest from these companies until they take action to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by securing their supply chains and refusing to work with bad dealers, market their products responsibly and honestly, stop making AR-15s and other assault weapons that use high-capacity magazines, and innovate to make guns safer rather than more deadly.
Earlier this month, Students Demand Action volunteers brought their demands directly to the leading gun industry trade show, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, where they showcased dangerous products like the JR-15, an assault weapon designed specifically for children. SHOT Show Attendees were greeted by billboards on their way from the airport to hotels, as well as mobile billboards driving around the convention site that highlighted how guns are the number one killer of children and teens in the United States. Students Demand Action volunteers also blanketed the roadways near Las Vegas, and on the drive from the Las Vegas area to the industry’s “Range Day” with yard signs that delivered this same message. Students Demand Action volunteers even projected “While the Gun Industry Parties, Kids Die” onto the building where SHOT Show is being held.
To speak with a Students Demand Action volunteer or with an Everytown expert about the role of the firearms industry, do not hesitate to reach out.