Open letter to Congress on gun reform: GLAAD Campus Ambassadors speak out

the voice and vision of a new generation

Open letter to Congress on gun reform: GLAAD Campus Ambassadors speak out

February 22, 2018
To view the letter in PDF form click here.
To add your name and call on Congress to enact sensible gun reform click here.

Dear Mr. McConnell, Mr. Ryan, and Members of the 115th United States Congress:

We speak on behalf of the students who have perished before us. We stand with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. We have accepted the responsibility to speak in the face of injustice and refuse to be silenced.

We represent the GLAAD Campus Ambassadors, a group of 130 students from colleges and universities in more than forty states nationwide. We strive to accelerate acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people in our communities and beyond. Together with GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, we amplify issues facing LGBTQ youth.

Make no mistake. Gun violence is an LGBTQ issue.

Since the fatal massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, we have witnessed more than 25 fatal school shootings in the United States. In total, there have been more people killed by gun violence in the last eighteen years than were killed by gun violence in the entire Twentieth Century. These numbers are at once shocking and unacceptable.

Our generation was born into the gunpowder left behind at Columbine, and we have witnessed an unprecedented progression of gun violence ever since. As students, we have learned about our national history in the same textbooks that have shielded us from stray bullets. We have grieved the tragic and untimely deaths of our young neighbors at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, witnessed the destruction of peace at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, and mourned the loss of our community at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

We and all Americans deserve to live in a country where we need not fear going to school, practicing our religion, or celebrating with friends. Our childhood has been tainted with memories of hiding beneath desks while our society grows numb to tragedy and our representatives in Washington and in far too many state legislatures fail to act. The unique talents, passions, and abilities of our generation are too precious to be lost to gun violence.

We believe that everyone - regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, documentation, ability, or religion - has the right to exist in public without the fear of violence or harm. We refuse to accept the degradation of our society through senseless acts of unchecked gun violence and rampant domestic terror. We refuse to allow our lives to hang in the balance between gun lobbyist groups and our state and national elected leaders.

Death is not partisan. Preventing death should not be partisan. We urge you to protect our generation and the generations before and after us by enacting sensible gun reform that bans high powered assault weapons, bans bump stocks, requires universal background checks with no loopholes, and prohibits gun ownership for those convicted of domestic violence. This epidemic of mass murder has left our society in tatters, but these reforms would at least allow us to believe that the deaths before us have not been in vain, while serving the interest of protecting others from harm.

Every day, we are reminded of the young lives lost in Columbine, Virginia Tech, Newtown, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, San Bernardino, Orlando, Aurora, Charleston and Parkland. We are their voice now. We are their votes. We will remember.


Aaron Giglio, CUNY Guttman Community College

Adrian Vega, Stanford University

Aisling McDermott, Le Moyne College

Andre Menchavez, University of Washington

Antonio Hernandez, University of Texas at Austin

Arlin Pedregon, University of New Mexico

Athena Schwartz , University of Utah

Benjamin Webster, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Bobby Brooks, Texas A&M University

Brianna Peralta, Avila University

Briannah Hill, University of Colorado

Brooklyn Riepma, The College of Idaho

C Mandler, Bard College

Carter Kohler, Ithaca College

Christina King, Boston College

Christine Miyazato, UC Santa Barbara

Clarence Czachor, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Corinne Beverly, Virginia Commonwealth University

Daniel Segobiano, University of California Santa Cruz

Delaney Perkins, Lycoming College

Devin Outten, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Donnie TC Denome, Pitzer College

Dorothy McIntush, Texas A&M University

Dylan Barker, Cleveland State University

Dylan Mattimore, University of California Riverside

Elena Piech, Ithaca College

Emma Louden, Princeton University

Eva Reign Thomas, University of Missouri

Fausto Cardenas, University of Central Florida

Federico Yniguez, California State University Long Beach

Gabriel Brown, Marshall University

Gregory Gushiken, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Halley Fine, Colby College

Hannah Oliver, Central Washington University

Harold López, Florida International University

Isaac Kovnator, College of Staten Island

Jacob Sutherland, University of California San Diego

James Washburn, Cornish College of the Arts

Jason Gurevitch, Colby College

Jay Williamson, Ithaca College

Jayson Bijak, University of Houston

Jeremy Wang, Brown University

Jonathan Leggette, The Evergreen State College

Joon Park, Boston College

José Granados, University of Texas at Austin

Josiah Masie, University of Wyoming

Julia Vanzini, The College of New Jersey

Julian Turner, University of Southern California

Justin Mendillo, Connecticut College

Kali Villarosa, Skidmore College

Kathleen Warner, Point Loma Nazarene University

Kay Moran, University of Oklahoma

Kayla Inman, St. John’s University

Kayla Santos, Rutgers University

Keeley Hard, University of Houston

Kylan Kester, Morehouse College

Kylin Camburn, Kutztown University

Leah Juliett, Western Connecticut State University

Leigh Fresina, Louisiana State University

Leo Richardson, Castleton University

Malachi Robinson, Montclair State University

Mark Young, Del Mar College

Mason Bernardo, Western Washington University

Matthew Keating, Harvard College

Megan Banning, Arizona State University

Michaela Hook, Chapman University

Mikaela Ashburn, Ohio University

Miles Joyner, University of South Carolina

Morgan Pasquier, University of Washington Tacoma

Nick Fiorellini, Bard College

Nicole Gemmiti, Berklee College of Music

Noah Goodwin, University of Mary Washington

Noah Perkins Deal, Prairie View A&M University

Olivia Zayas Ryan, Elon University

Owen Logios, University of Connecticut

Palmer Haasch, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Prin Luis, University of South Florida

Priyank Pillai, University of Houston

Ramenda Cyrus, Northwestern University

Rebecca Shoptaw, Yale University

Riley McGrath, Bridgewater State University

Rosemary Mulvey, Ithaca College

Rowan Berry, Rhode Island College

Rowan Hepps Keeney, Barnard College

Ryan Wagstaff, University of Washington

Savannah Green, Clark Atlanta University

Serena Garnett, Penn State University

Shayna Maci Warner, UCLA

Shelby Salyer, UC Davis

Skylar Freels, University of Southern California

Skylar Rungren, University of Maine

Sophia Alexander, University of California Berkeley

Sorrel Rosin, University of Oregon

Sunanda Tamrakar, University of Pittsburgh

Taylor Dolniak, Point Park University

Teagan Rabuano, New York University

Tevis Robinson, Columbia University

Therynn Ibert, University of Houston

x rance, Ithaca College

Zakiyyah Forrest, Armstrong State University

Zipi Diamond, St. Olaf College


GLAAD Campus Ambassadors are a volunteer network of LGBTQ and ally college and university students who work with GLAAD and within their local communities to build an LGBTQ movement to accelerate acceptance and end hate and discrimination.

the voice and vision of a new generation