Today at Michigan State University three more are dead, five more are injured, eyewitnesses are deeply traumatized, another university community is in shock, and our nation is plunged back into mourning. We stand with Michigan State, mourn their losses as we would our own, and lend our support and prayers for the injured and the traumatized who are left behind.
So far in 2023, there have been more mass shootings in America than there have been days in the year. In the name of the Spartans who have been taken from us, we must recommit ourselves to ending this uniquely American, entirely preventable epidemic of gun violence. As hard as it to push back despair in this moment, we simply have to.
In fact, many George Mason University faculty have been working as part of an 18-university coalition from across the DC region to find non-legislative strategies that will reduce gun violence in America. You may recall that Mason and the University of Maryland led the formation of the 120 Initiative following another horrific and entirely preventable tragedy, the massacre of innocent school children in Uvalde, Texas. The initiative was named in memorial tribute to the average number of Americans we lose to gun violence each and every day.
On March 1, the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area will bring together faculty from universities throughout the DC area who study gun violence and related issues and who are part of the 120 Initiative. They have been at work for months presenting and debating promising strategies, and they will present their recommendations publicly for the first time.
Here is what should make every Mason Patriot especially proud: Mason has contributed the most faculty expertise and proposals of all participating universities. I am so proud of our faculty, who run the gamut of research areas and ideologies, for stepping up to contribute so passionately to this effort.
One day, we will find ways to end this type of violence in America, once and for all. But today it is clear that we have much work to do. So I end where I began, with our hearts aching for everyone at Michigan State University, and our minds set upon ending this scourge once and for all.