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In wake of Santa Fe High School shooting NASW again calls for gun violence to be declared public health epidemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yet another tragic and senseless loss of life from gun violence occurred on May 18 when 10 individuals were shot and killed at Santa Fe High School located in Santa Fe, Texas. Eight of the 10 fatalities were students – another 10 individuals were wounded.  

This is the 22nd school shooting this year, according to CNN, and the 101st mass shooting in 2018, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Given that a mass shooting is defined as four or more people being shot in a single incident, more than 400 Americans have been victims of a mass shooting so far this year. It goes without saying that we as a nation cannot allow gun-related occurrences to continue to take the lives of school children and others. 

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) stands by our previous statements that call for declaring all forms of gun violence - including mass shootings - to be declared a public health epidemic. 

Accordingly, we continue to urge public health officials to mobilize federal and state resources to prevent gun violence. NASW also continues to implore politicians to enact reasonable and effective gun laws, which would greatly reduce gun-related fatalities and injuries.   

NASW wishes to convey our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the victims and everyone in the Santa Fe community. We join the many other organizations and individual Americans in insisting that talk alone is not enough to address the issue of gun violence in our communities and schools. We all must be relentless in advocating for sensible gun reforms. Such reforms must become a priority among politicians, public health officials and policy makers. 

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.