WASHINGTON— Statement from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of
Teachers, on the executive actions announced today by President Barack Obama to
reduce gun violence:
“The AFT strongly supports President Obama’s effort to take action against our
national epidemic of gun violence—in 2015 alone, there were more than 52,000
incidents of gun violence in the United States.
“Our members—who are entrusted with the safety and care of our communities and our
children—see the impact of this violence every day. As teachers, school support
staff, nurses, social workers and other public workers in places such as Newtown,
Conn., we are committed to take the steps necessary to ensure a future where we are
all safe in our schools, workplaces and communities.
“President Obama’s actions today go beyond patchwork, stopgap measures and provide
real solutions—by narrowing loopholes in federal law that allow guns to be sold
without a background check, overhauling the background check system and increasing
funding for mental health, gun safety technology and enforcement.
“We need leaders who will continue to advance reasonable, commonsense actions that
we know work to make our communities safer. Unfortunately, Congress has not acted,
and now several Republican presidential candidates have already announced that they
would act to undo President Obama’s actions. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton said
that if she became president, she too will act to reduce gun violence.
“Today, we stand at the side of an administration willing to take these bold,
courageous actions, and we support Hillary Clinton’s commitment to continue these
efforts to serve the interests of the American people instead of the gun lobby.”