How Everytown Teamed Up with a Virginia Tech Mass Shooting Survivor to Influence Executive Actions on Gun Control

On Tuesday, January 5th, President Barack Obama announced executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence in America.

Proclaiming that “we do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom,” President Obama laid out an expansive gun control plan never before seen from the executive level. But, his reforms have had significant push from outside the political sector, and these executive actions were influenced by signatures from nearly 50,000 people on Change.org.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence, and Virginia Tech survivor, Colin Goddard, played a significant role in informing President Obama’s decision. They started a Change.org petition following the Umpqua Community College shooting in Roseburg, Oregon -- the 18th mass shooting of 2015. It laid out five critical steps, all of which were included in President Obama’s announcement:

  1. Keep dangerous people with guns out of our schools

  2. Crackdown on gun trafficking and curb the sale of guns without background checks

  3. Ensure that law enforcement identifies and prosecutes the most dangerous criminals who try to illegally obtain guns

  4. Help states to enforce their own background check laws

  5. Ensure that all convicted domestic abusers are prohibited from possessing guns

The background check reform is likely to have the most significant impact of all. Everytown estimates that tens of thousands of additional gun sales each year will now be required to undergo criminal background checks.

The second amendment separates the United States from many other countries, and makes gun control one of the most heated topics in America. This victory stands out as an important step forward toward enforcing safer legislature around gun ownership.

To live in safe communities is a human right, and Everytown and their 50,000 Change.org supporters have brought Americans one step closer to encouraging reasonable gun laws across the country.

Do you think your neighborhood needs better firearm policies? Start a petition today to mobilize your community and encourage gun safety and responsible ownership.