STUDENTS: Congress is stalled but we do not have to wait for government to make the call for “not one more” real. There is a path forward: Divestment.
1) Young Americans are paying the price for Congress’s failure to act on gun reform.
In 2010, gun deaths were the second highest reason for death of young people ages 15–24, and by 2015 gun deaths will replace automobile accidents as the leading cause of death for Millennials. There have been 74 school and campus shootings since Newtown alone.
2) The NRA, with funding from irresponsible gun companies, obstructs legislative change.
Freedom Group, Sturm Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Olin, profit from America’s tragedies. Millions of dollars are funneled to the NRA to block gun reform, money invested in gun companies by individuals, pensions, and university endowments. Our money is being used to block common-sense gun reform.
3) Divestment works.
Economic pressure on the gun industry is crucial to ending political stagnancy, as it did to end the Apartheid regime in South Africa. As Eric Milgram, father of two Sandy Hook Elementary survivors, stated, “gun companies won’t respond to moral sentiment, but they will respond to economic pain.” For this reason the divestment movement is being called “the new front in the war on gun violence.”
4) The movement to divest guns is taking off.
- We’ve only just begun and are already getting a lot of attention and finding success.
- In 2013 hedge funds divested more than $171 million from the gun industry
- New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Rhode Island, have divested their municipal and pension funds, as did the largest pension fund, CalSTRS (California State Teaching Retirement System)
- Many individuals are divesting their retirement funds using UnloadYour401k
- Occidental College banned investments in assault weapons manufacturers in February, 2014
- Student-led movements at Princeton and University of Pennsylvania have formed to demand their universities’ endowments divest guns
5) Together, young Americans can amplify their voices to create change.
Action from students is critical to reducing gun violence:
- Join UC-Santa Barbara students to pressure the University of California to divest its endowment funds.
- Learn how UCSB can turn “grief into action” — op-ed by Campaign to Unload
- Sign the petition to tell UC to take a clear stance against investing in gun violence
- Join the conversation by using #DivestGuns on social media
- Start a divestment campaign on your campus. Contact us to learn how to get started.