July 11, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC—This morning, PFT President Jerry Jordan joined President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, AFT President Randi Weingarten, advocates, families & survivors at the White House following the June signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
The event, held on the South Lawn of the White House, included survivors and families of recent mass shootings in the United States, was a poignant reflection on the scourge of gun violence in this nation. The devastation wrought by gun violence permeates communities across the country, and at every level of government, our leaders can and must respond.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, represents the first significant federal gun reform in decades, which Vice President Kamala Harris noted today was "long overdue." The bill, signed into law in late June, provides a host of responses to the ongoing crisis of gun violence. From strengthening background checks and red flag laws, to providing mental health and school based supports, the bill is a critical first step in finally addressing a deadly crisis.
President Joe Biden noted the "cost and price of inaction" and reflected on the work of advocates, many of whom turned their own pain and anguish into action, to work to ensure that other families do not suffer the loss they have.
Jerry Jordan, after the event, offered the following remarks:
"It was moving to be in attendance at such an historic event. The event began with stirring remarks from Uvalde pediatrician Dr. Roy Guerrero, and hearing him speak about the pain his community continues to endure was heart-wrenching. Hearing Garnell Whitfield, Jr., whose mother Ruth Whitfield, was murdered in the white supremacist terror attack in Buffalo, read the names of the victims of the massacre was powerful. Mr. Whitfield, Jr. was exactly right: this nation must address white supremacy and domestic terrorism.
"Vice President Harris and President Biden spoke strongly about their ongoing commitment to addressing the crisis of gun violence. President Biden asked the key question: 'Will we match thoughts and prayers with action?' The answer must be, unequivocally, yes.
"This union has been unapologetic in its advocacy for gun reform, consistently calling for meaningful action, because we know that lives are at stake. Further, we have been clear to connect the dots between our advocacy for gun reform, our advocacy for racial justice, and our advocacy for public education. I would be remiss not to note that Black and brown people are living with, and dying from, this crisis at rates that are staggeringly higher than white people.
"I am honored to have been part of today's ceremony, and even more honored to be part of the enduring work that will move us forward.
"I remain, on behalf of Philadelphia's 13,000 educators, deeply committed to the pursuit of justice, equity, and a better tomorrow."
PFT's recent statements and advocacy on gun violence are below in reverse chronological order:
- Member Message: Reflections After a Tragic Fourth
- PFT President Jerry Jordan Joins Tuesdays with Toomey, Calls for Action on Gun Violence
- PFT President Jerry Jordan on Saturday's mass shooting in Philadelphia and the ongoing crisis of gun violence
- PFT President Jerry Jordan in Inquirer Op-Ed: The moral and constitutional imperative for investing in young people
- Member Message on the Devastation of Gun Violence
- PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Mass School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas
- PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Deadly White Supremacist Terrorist Attack in Buffalo
- PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Killing of Juan Carlos Robles-Corana and the Ongoing Scourge of Gun Violence