Advocacy update June 7, 2022

Advocacy update June 7, 2022

Advocacy update June 7, 2022 150 150 Episcopalians in Connection
Bill allowing schools to arm minimally-trained staff awaits Governor’s signature

Last week, despite a huge volume of opponent testimony including letters from many Episcopalians, the Ohio Legislature passed legislation allowing school districts to arm staff with as little as 24 hours of safety training. The bill is now on Governor DeWine’s desk, and he is expected to sign it. You can send him an email here.

For a succinct and well-researched overview of gun violence trends in Ohio, and the impact of gun safety laws on violence in other states, I strongly recommend the June 6 article “Ohio’s response to Uvalde?  Armed teachers and $117 million” by Jake Zimmerman in the Ohio Capital Journal. As our legislature and governor enacted a number of laws eliminating limits on gun owners, both 2020 and 2021 broke records for the number of Ohioans killed by guns. The number of Ohio youth and children killed by guns rose 89% from 2010 to 2019.  Zimmerman cites the research of University of Toledo professor James Price on school shootings and prevention. Price recommends safe storage laws, as 70-90% of the guns used in school shootings, children’s suicide, and unintentional shootings are aquired by the shooters from the homes of relatives or friends. Zimmerman summarizes the provisions of the gun bill just passed as well as gun safety bills currently stalled in the Ohio Legislature.

Meanwhile, several more mass shootings took place across the United States over the weekend. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a number of gun safety proposals this week and a bipartisan group of Senators is actively debating potential legislation in that chamber.  You can speedily write a customized letter to both Ohio Senators and to your member of Congress directly from a link on the website of the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations, which includes relevant General Convention resolutions and background on the Church’s advocacy to end gun violence.

Advocacy briefings are compiled by Ariel Miller, a member of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team. Connect with her at arielmillerwriter@gmail.com