“That looks like a safe place to hide in case of an active shooter.”
Those words came out of the mouth of my 17-year-old son while we were recently on a college campus tour. Not, “This looks like a fun place to party.”…or “The technology in this lab is awesome.”…or “I can’t wait to attend a game at this stadium.” – He was looking around and observing where he would take cover should a gunman try to senselessly take his life. How did we even get here?
With firearms being the number one cause of death for kids in the U.S., unfortunately, his fear is valid. This statistic alone makes this a public health crisis. People are dying at the hands of politicians who are putting their political agendas before people’s health…before children’s mental and physical well-being.
I am the CEO of Spectrum Science, an integrated marketing and communications firm, rooted in a shared passion for helping humankind live their best healthlife. That can be hard to do when death by firearms is a real, unnecessary threat for Americans going about their daily lives at the grocery store, mall, movie theater, and school. As an agency focused on health and science, we have a responsibility to speak up for public health and safety.
Throughout history, there have been moments when local and federal legislation has stepped up to address public health crises to protect as many people as possible. Like stricter seatbelt laws or banning the use of tobacco and cigarettes indoors. Why can’t sensible gun laws follow suit? Semi-automatic rifles were featured in four of the five deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. These weapons are not, and were never meant to be in the hands of civilians.
I’m not looking to take away all guns. My family hunts and shoots clay pigeons together. We bond over these activities and create lifelong memories. What I'm asking for - along with 71% of Americans - are sensible gun laws that work in service of protecting human life. We need to stand together and demand that our representatives prioritize gun safety. Data shows that a federal ban on assault weapons is highly effective in saving lives. When that ban was lifted in 2004, mass shooting deaths increased by almost 350%.
Can we rally around making a change, preserving life and advocating for sensible gun laws? That’s what I’m asking for. Pushing for. Today is Gun Violence Awareness Day, learn more about getting involved and making a change at wearorange.org. And stay tuned to Spectrum’s social channels throughout the month of June for more actions you can take to support this cause. #WearOrange
This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Jonathan Wilson, CEO.