In aftermath of church mass shooting, NASW calls for sensible gun control laws, public health emergency declaration



WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation once again is grieving over the deaths of innocent people in a mass shooting. Last Sunday 26 churchgoers from the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs were massacred and several others still cling to life.

The youngest victim at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs was just 18 months old. The latest mass shooting is even more incomprehensible when we realize that just a month ago a shooter gunned down more than 50 people in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Again, similar to nearly all the mass shootings in this country, the weapon of choice was a semi-automatic assault rifle.

As the National Association of Social Workers has stated after previous mass shootings – such as those in Orlando and at the Mother Emanuel Baptist Church in South Carolina – the President, Congress and state legislators must enact sensible laws that will significantly curb access to assault-style rifles.

The nation’s federal and state leaders must also recognize that when there are more than 36,000 gun-related deaths each year the nation is experiencing a public health emergency.

Addressing this public health emergency necessitates a coordinated national mobilization to prevent and greatly reduce gun-related deaths and serious injuries that occur in every segment of society regardless of race, socioeconomic status, age or geographical location.

For more information on NASW’s position on addressing gun violence read the Social Justice Brief  “Gun Violence in America.” You can also contact NASW Social Justice and Human Rights Manager Mel Wilson at

One comment

  1. You want more legislation of a broken process? The FBI has failed multiple times to prevent mass shooters from purchasing guns. The military failed to notify the FBI on this shooter’s discharge and criminal status. The thing that stopped this shooter was being shot by a legal gun owner who saved lives.

    NASW needs to lead the research into preventing domestic violence, innovations into better outcomes in mental health treatment, ways to address discrimination and other root causes of the problems we encounter.

    If NASW wants to continue its sole focus on legislation, then it needs to cease calling itself a “professional association” and re-brand itself as a PAC.

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