Make the Sandy Hook Promise

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Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-profit organization formed in response to the Dec. 14 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which killed 20 children and six educators. The group was organized by friends and neighbors and has two main goals: to support members of the Newtown community and to “work to identify and implement holistic, common sense solutions” that will make us safer from similar acts of violence.

Newtown parents Francine and David Wheeler explain why contacting Congress really matters
What You Can Do

~ Find out how your representatives voted on gun control measures and call them to either thank them for their support or to let them know that you disagree with the way they voted.

~ Promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

~ Promote the mission of Sandy Hook Promise by holding a meeting or hosting a conversation in your town on making communities safer from similar acts of violence.

A Message From Executive Director Tim Makris

There are some issues in our body politic where digging in your heals, demonizing the other side and screaming bloody epithets over the high fence won’t get you any closer to victory. Plenty of people have worked to find common ground, but the partisan bickering reinforces each position to the detriment of those in the middle who represent powerful majoritiy.

Despite the fact that the U.S. Senate just supported a filibuster against a bipartisan amendment to expand background checks for gun purchasers, polls continue to show that 90 percent of Americans support this kind of expansion. That’s more Americans then the percentage who say they like apple pie (81 percent) or even baseball (67 percent). The rhetoric between the gun control groups and the NRA continues to be pretty predictable, but there are some voices in the middle that are reaching out to responsible gun owners — who they know support background checks and other policies — and they are finding a middle ground.

Sandy Hook Promise is one of those organizations. The powerful, emotional voices of families who have lost children to gun violence cannot be ignored, but their sensible, constructive approach to this is turning heads and moving the issue. Finding a way to speak to the middle doesn’t have to mean giving up your moral high ground. It just means realizing that what unites us is sometimes more important than what divides us. And that if we take a look at ourselves as parents, siblings, grandchildren and grandparents we can all agree that the majority of deaths by gun violence in this country are not the price we must pay for our freedoms, and there has to be a better way.

Join us and take the pledge at sandyhookpromise.org.

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  • Marylin Schultz

    I viewed an interview on TV last night about a woman who is raising her grandchildren, as she has lost 4 of her 5 children to gun violence!! OUR CONGRESS HAS GOT TO DO SOMETHING, AND THE SOONER THE BETTER!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeknowshow Mike Miller

    Go in the OTHER direction! The problem with background checks is the information obtained by the government on who bought what. The annonimity of gun ownership is important to many of the citizens, and asking the government if you can buy a gun is WAY beyond the second amendment.
    But we have a NO-FLY list that is available to prevent questionable persons from boarding a plane. DO THE SAME WITH GUN PURCHASING- List those persons who are deemed unsafe gun owners/operators, and make that list available to anyone by internet to check on a potential buyer. say this person or someone matching their particulars is on this list, a full request must be made.

    Punch in a name, DOB, DL# and see if that name is on the list. No one needs to know who asked or from where, and there is no information on where the info request came from.
    No-Fly list
    No-buy list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.morency1 James Moe Morency

    Allow guns in schools. That really is the only ” common sense” solution. You don’t stop something just by regulating or outlawing it. Look at drugs, prostitution, prohibition, etc. when they outlawed liquor in the 20′s there was wide spread murder over turf wars from the criminals wanting to sell in certain areas. Once prohibition was repealed you had no more turf wars. When was the last time someone in America died over beer or liquor? Outlawing guns will make it much more dangerous, THAT is common sense, whether the President cares to admit it or not. If someone wants to smoke weed, they will find weed, and if they want to shoot someone, they will find a gun. Legal or not, THAT is common sense. You don’t stop crime by taking guns away from everyone who didn’t do it!

  • Fiesty Redhead

    Again, in this discussion, there is a statement that the government is trying to “take away guns,” and/or “trying to make gun ownership illegal.” Nothing is further from the truth. Every American citizen and their family and friends, have the right to free of gun violence. As gun owners have rights, so do non-gun owners and victims of violence have rights. We have to solve this problem…and now. A large number of NRA members see this issue as needing change, finally, with the terrible loss of these very young innocent children and their teachers. This isn’t the time for the NRA and ridged gun owners to block the rights of others, to block out the loss of life in America everyday. Were gun owner’s rights greater than the lost rights and lives of these first and second graders? One of these children could have been the child of any gun owner that is standing against simple background checks. As a group, gun owners have become radical in their view of government and violent in their language about “the other” in our society, to the point that they are “the other”. This is the “fear” that is “nothing worse than fear itself” that FDR spoke of.

  • John Tovar

    The carnage crated with the use of fire arms across America is insanity, the fact that too many of our lawmakers do not wish to do anything positive about it is insanity. Why shouldn’t any N.R.A. type people, lawmakers or any one that wishes to obtain a fire arm not be subject to the same back ground check that all our military people have to pass before they can handle weapons. What on earth makes anyone any better than those that protect our freedom?

  • Beatrice

    No entiendo por que no quieren registrar sus armas al comprarlas, “Quien nada debe nada teme” Nuestras

  • Robert

    In what ways does the proposal want to expand background checks as compared to current background checks in States like Texas?

  • Donald Miller

    I have been a therapist and educator for 40 years. I have had several mentally ill people try to kill me. All of us need to understand mental illness. A person with this struggle is incapable of being rational . Crazy means cracked, unpredictable. We might want to have compassion. We need to remember we can not allow them to hurt us or others. .. .

  • Carl Platou

    I have not always agreed with Mr. Moyers perspective. However, I viewed the piece on Sandy Hook Promise tonight and found it to be particularly moving. I applaud the courage of the couple who lost a son, the Wheelers. They are so thoughtful in their views and showed tremendous strength in their efforts to foster change in our national policy around guns. They moved me to take action and contact my representatives. It is shocking to me that we tolerate gun violence in this society. We are past the time for change. It is unacceptable that we allow for an environment where these horrific tragedies can happen. Let’s move forward with common sense solutions to gun registration and highly lethal fire arms.

  • Lincer

    Because I live in the District of Columbia, I lack an elected representative to vote on a gun control or any other measure. So I’m hoping that, should there be a next time that there’s a vote, I’ll be able to join a group in front of the Capitol in support of background checks. All the victims of gun violence who can’t make it to DC should find us disenfranchised residents to serve as proxies. If another vote fails, I hope President Obama simply uses his executive powers. Thank you Moyers and Wheelers for your courage and calm. Thank you Moyers for asking absolutely all the right questions. Suggestion: close each show with the most up to date number of deaths from gun violence in order to keep open the question, “how many deaths will it take til we know that too many people have died?”

  • Robert Currie

    Saw this very moving program online. Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Father’s Day is just over a month away. We have three adult sons. I can hardly bear to think whay our lives would have been like if we had lost one of them to some form of tragic violence as occurred in Newtown.

    I work in a public school. The security at Sandy Hook is better than the security of any school I have been in. Calls to beef up security far beyond what they had is simply not going to happen for financial, social, and cultural reasons.

    Many decades ago, I was a company armorer in the US Army. Other than the Colt revolvers in my care, I can’t imagine that anything in that arms room would ever be in the possession of any citizen. It wouldn’t have made sense to me then; it doesn’t make sense to me now. The fact that we can own such lethal weapons is a deeply disturbing comment on our society.

    At the level of the individual as well as at the level of the nation, we are willing to spend billions of dollars to buy weapons. We are willing to pay for the unintended costs related to those weapons. And, we’re willing to delude ourselves that this is what makes us ‘Americans’, this is a ‘right’ regardless of the consequences for those who share this planet with us. That is a remarkable form of arrogance.

    As I think of those Sandy Hook Moms and Dads, of the tragic loss of life of those young children and their teachers, I will commit myself to speaking out also. Thank you, Francine and David, for your brave witness.

  • Lightengine

    Here
    is the really big problem that overshadows anything like Sandy Hook and yet no
    one wants to talk about it because we are afraid of a politically incorrect
    controversy. A subculture of young black males amounts to only a fraction
    of the 13% of the population that are black and yet commits 50% of the murders
    in this country. The young black male murder rate without guns is higher
    than the non-black murder rate with guns. We owe it to blacks to help
    save over 5000 black victims every year by recognizing and counteracting a
    predominantly fatherless and feral “gangsta culture” that is terrorizing black
    neighborhoods.

  • Lightengine

    Here is the really big problem that overshadows anything like Sandy Hook and yet no one wants to talk about it because we are afraid of a politically incorrect controversy. A subculture of young black males amounts to only a fraction of the 13% of the population that are black and yet commits 50% of the murders in this country. The young black male murder rate without guns is higher than the non-black murder rate with guns. The majority of murders are the result of arguments. We owe it to blacks to help save over 5000 black victims every year by recognizing and counteracting the predominantly fatherless and feral “gangsta culture” that is terrorizing black neighborhoods.

  • Lightengine

    Here is the really big problem that overshadows anything like Sandy Hook
    and yet no one wants to talk about it because we are afraid of a
    politically incorrect controversy. A subculture of young black males
    amounts to only a fraction of the 13% of the population that are black
    and yet commits 50% of the murders in this country. The young black male
    murder rate without guns is higher than the non-black murder rate with
    guns. The majority of murders are the result of arguments. We owe it to
    blacks to help save over 5000 black victims every year by recognizing
    and counteracting the predominantly fatherless and feral “gangsta
    culture” that is terrorizing black neighborhoods. This is worth repeating!