Teachers in Charlottesville Call on Legislators for Gun Law Reform

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Delegate David Toscano Delegate David Toscano
Tim Kaine and David Toscano Tim Kaine and David Toscano
Senator Tim Kaine Senator Tim Kaine

Teachers in Charlottesville are asking Virginia legislators to take action in gun law reform.

It comes in response to preventing another school shooting, like the one in Parkland, Florida, from happening again. As a result, educators in Charlottesville and Albemarle County are asking legislators to put their political parties aside and take real action to keep kids and schools safe.

Adam Evans of the Charlottesville Education Association says arming teachers is not the answer.

"Teachers are looking to get pay increases and have supplies in their classrooms, not to carry a gun," says Evans.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Albemarle County Delegate David Toscano both gave speeches on the subject on Thursday, March 1.

Toscano held a press conference and spoke before the House to propose to revive three bills related to gun reform. The bills had previously been shot down in the Virginia General Assembly.

"Many in the public feel that we're not even addressing the issues, or, worse yet, we're embracing a cynical and defeating notion that nothing can or should change," says Toscano.

The bills Toscano's looking to revive include banning bump stocks, prohibiting assault weapon purchases for those under 21, and taking weapons away from those facing mental illness challenges. He says enacting these bills could be small steps toward a big fix.

Kaine also delivered a speech on the Senate floor, calling on the majority leader to allow more gun law debates. He says "thoughts and prayers" are no longer enough when tragedies like the one at the Florida high school strike.

"It is my deep hope that after this horrible shooting in Parkland, something may be different in this body," says Kaine.

He hopes that senators take teachers' and students' pleas to heart and pass new gun reform laws as soon as possible in order to potentially curb future threats.

"You can actually take concrete steps that will make your community safer, that will reduce gun violence," says Kaine. "You won't eliminate it. That's beyond our power as humble people to do, but you can reduce it.

Teachers like Evans say there is no simple answer to this problem, and Congress needs to work together to implement multiple resolutions.

"To our politicians, listen,” says Adam Evans of the Charlottesville Education Association. “Seek, you know, research. Figure out viable solutions that don't just sound good, and don't get votes, that actually create solutions to solve these tragic problems that we've had going on."

Charlottesville City Schools is currently planning on hosting a community forum to discuss school safety, which will be hosted later in March.