WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) joined eight other education, counseling, mental health and social work organizations in placing an open letter in USA Today calling on Congress to take immediate action to address the nation’s gun violence epidemic.
The open letter, which was a paid advertisement, said lawmakers show outrage when incidents of mass shootings and other gun violence occur but then do nothing to enact laws to address it.
There have been 27 school shootings in the nation so far this year and six out of 10 deaths by suicide are caused by guns. Gunfire is also the leading cause of death for children under the age of 19.
After recent mass shootings in Uvalde, TX and Buffalo, NY, a bipartisan group in the Senate has met to craft legislation to help end gun violence. However, it is uncertain whether a compromise will be reached.
Besides NASW, the open letter was signed by the American Federal of Teachers, Clinical Social Work Association, National Education Association, American Psychological Association Services Inc., National Association of School Psychologists, National Parent Teacher Association, American School Counselor Association and the School Social Work Association of America.
The organizations called on Congress to promote safe gun storage, expand background checks, raise the gun ownership age limit, track unlawful attempts to buy firearms, support Extreme Risk Protection Order laws and ban weapons of mass destruction.
“No more delays. No more excuses. No more senseless deaths. No more,” the letter said.