Students, Teachers, Parents, and Virginians,
I’m an alumnus of Virginia Tech. I wasn’t there during their mass shooting tragedy, but as a parent and concerned citizen of Richmond, I worry that it’s only a matter of time before a massacre like that could strike our community. The tragedy in Florida, the latest in a long string of horrific mass shootings, is yet another reminder that we need meaningful action. That’s why I’ve formed Never Again RVA and launched www.neveragainrva.com, a grassroots organization, so that concerned students, teachers, and parents in our community may come together and have a voice.
Richmond is home to some of the brightest minds in education, yet our schools and streets remain prone to violence. Teachers remain under-compensated, and should not be asked to choose between their life or the students’ lives who are in their care. The idea of arming them is shocking. We believe that our kids’ education and our safety are not mutually exclusive from the 2nd Amendment.
We need your help. The NeverAgainRVA.com website and Facebook group are new resources for cultivating constructive ideas to achieve common sense, attainable reductions in gun violence. Virginia is home to 248,939 registered firearms among 8,260,405 people. For every 1,000 residents in Virginia, there are 30.1 guns. We are #5 in the list of most heavily armed states (and we border the #2 most heavily armed district – Washington DC). We believe no single action or law is going to solve the scourge of mass shootings, and all potential solutions merit attention and dialog.
Safety from mass gun violence is not a partisan issue. It’s not a debate for pitting political parties against each other. We must collectively take action to protect the lives of our students, who increasingly believe they could be the next victims. They should be learning, developing, and leading productive lives without the fear of being the next victim of senseless violence perpetrated by people armed with weapons of war.
Next week, Rocket Pop Media will film a series of informal interview videos that will become the basis of our message to elected officials of Virginia, as well as a chance to be heard for those who don’t have the means or influence to be individually as effective. We invite you to come to Rocket Pop Media on Monday or Tuesday, March 5th and 6th, between 4:30-7:30pm. We will provide professional audio/video production AND some pizza for your trouble. Students, teachers, and parents are all welcome.
This is your casting call to be a voice for the Richmond community. Lawmakers will listen. Our kids will vote soon, and they WILL be heard now on the site…and later at the polls.