The ad comes less than a week after a shooting at Santa Fe High School outside Houston in which 10 people died.
In the ad, students called out instances in which Abbott tweeted that Texans needed to buy more guns and when he reportedly A group of students from across Texas has a question for Gov. Greg Abbott: “We are dying on your watch. What will you do about it?”
More than 40 students signed a letter calling for action on gun control, which will be featured in a full-page ad from Everytown for Gun Safety set to run in the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, the political arm of the organization, paid for the ad.
“Our job is to be good students. Your job is to keep us safe. You have failed at your job,” the students wrote in the letter to Abbott. “Like so many politicians cozy with the NRA, you have steadfastly opposed any reasonable measures that might protect us from gun violence. Instead, you’ve signed dangerous policies to force public colleges in Texas to allow guns on campus and make it legal to openly carry firearms in public.
“You’ve continued to push the notion that guns everywhere for everyone make us safer,” the letter continues. “By that logic, shouldn’t we be among the safest states in the nation?”
The ad comes less than a week after a shooting at Santa Fe High School outside Houston in which 10 people died. The suspected shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is being held on charges of capital murder and aggravated assault of a public servant.
The shooting comes several months after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed. That shooting sparked a national movement that originated with the Parkland survivors and other gun-control advocates.
Abbott announced after the most recent shooting that he would host a series of roundtable sessions to discuss school safety, starting Tuesday.
Administrators from school districts that participate in a state program that has appointed school marshals, in addition to administrators from school districts that partner with local law enforcement, will be at the first discussion. Victims, educators, and family members from Santa Fe and Sutherland Springs, where 26 people were killed last year, will also be invited to discussions. Additional meetings will be held on May 23 and 24.
In the ad, students called out instances in which Abbott tweeted that Texans needed to buy more guns and when he reportedly said gun violence happens because of “hearts without God.”
“Do you think that the children who were shot in class this week died because they hadn’t prayed enough? What about the 26 who were killed while they were worshiping in Sutherland Springs? Do you think they are to blame, rather than yourself and other politicians who refuse to allow even a meaningful discourse on reasonable gun violence prevention policies,” the students wrote.
President Donald Trump on Friday said mass shootings have been “going on too long in our country,” but his administration has not announced major action in response to the school shootings.
The students, however, focused on Abbott, saying the state has experienced at least 20 mass shootings since January 2009. Everytown, the group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people were shot and killed, not including the shooter.
“You’ve said that straying from Jesus is the cause of gun violence. Well, let this be your ‘come to Jesus’ moment,” the students wrote in the letter featured in Everytown’s ad. “Children are dying. We’re being shot and killed in our classrooms, homes, movie theaters – even as we walk home from school. We have become collateral damage in a country whose lawmakers refuse to stand up to people who just want to sell more guns – regardless of the body count.”