Senator Bill Bradley Launches National Initiative to Reduce Youth-on-Youth Gun Violence

Newark, N.J. -- On Friday, August 23, 1996, Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ) met with New Jersey doctors, young people, and community leaders to publicize and discuss a national initiative, the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence and the Day of National Concern about Young People and Gun Violence, to take place on November 6, 1997.

Senator Bradley is the original sponsor of Senate Resolution #282 designating November 6, 1997 as the Day of National Concern about Young People and Gun Violence and calling for national distribution, on that day, of a Student Pledge. The Pledge asks participating students to sign a voluntary promise that they will never carry a gun to school, never resolve a dispute with a gun, and try to use their influence with their friends to keep them from resolving disputes with guns.

Forty-two Democrats and forty Republicans in the Senate joined Senator Bradley in sponsoring Senate Resolution 282, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent before the August recess. Endorsing organizations include the AFT, the NEA, the Council of the Great City Schools, the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National PTA. Sponsors from across the polical spectrum are united in their wish to empower young people to reverse the ravages of gun violence by connecting them with milllions of other young people making the same decisions at the same time.

The Pledge was developed by Senator Bradley and Mary Lewis Grow, Project Director of the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence, who first met and talked about this initiative in a Senate hallway two years ago. "Violence is the sum total of individual decisions," says Bradley, "and reversing the violence will occur individual decision by individual decision. This initiative will foster and support those life-saving individual decisions."