It is with the heaviest of hearts that we write following Sunday night’s tragic events in Las Vegas. Out of respect for the victims of last night’s attack, we, together with the other co-organizers of the National Vigil and Day of Action for Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault, have decided to postpone this Wednesday’s vigil until Thursday, October 19th.
As an organization committed to nonviolence, equality, and eradicating violence on college campuses, our team at EROC feels strongly that now is the time to both mourn the lives lost in Las Vegas this weekend and to call attention to the connections between these senseless acts of gun violence and the work that we do every day.
We must center the direct connection between gun violence and domestic and intimate partner violence in our national conversation about gun safety. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, in 2011, more than half of women murdered with guns in the U.S. were killed by intimate partners or family members. In over 50% of mass shootings between January 2009 and June 2014, the assailant murdered an intimate partner or family member.
There is no federal law that prohibits convicted abusive dating partners and stalkers from having guns. And an increasing number of colleges are allowing people to carry hidden guns despite that 94% of faculty oppose it and 79% of students reported that they would not feel safe if concealed weapons were allowed on campus. End Rape on Campus is also vehemently opposed to campus carry—campus sexual violence is enough of a problem already, the last thing we need is to make it easier for perpetrators to have deadly weapons that could turn an already violent act into a lethal tragedy.
Gun violence is inextricably tied to our work at EROC—domestic and intimate partner violence often have tragic outcomes, especially when guns are involved. This link is one of many reasons why we’re urging you to take action this week alongside violence prevention organizations like the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Community Justice Reform Coalition, and Everytown for Gun Safety. These organizations need our support—especially in these moments—and now is the time for us to join in solidarity with them and those affected by this weekend’s massacre.
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.