President Steven Knapp Signs National Pledge on Gun Control

More than 200 college and university presidents have signed the letter to President Obama promising to encourage campus dialogue on gun control and gun violence.
December 28, 2012

George Washington University President Steven Knapp has pledged to encourage campus dialogue on gun violence in a letter to President Barack Obama.

Last Friday, Dr. Knapp joined more than 200 college and university presidents around the country in signing the pledge, authored by Emerson College President Lee Pelton. The letter, written after the mass killings in Newton, Conn., encourages President Obama to limit access to assault weapons and to assess the “mental health and other societal issues” that have played into many of these tragedies. It also offers President Obama the assistance of academic communities around the country in encouraging debate and dialogue around the complex issue of gun control.

“The letter is consistent with the role of the university as I described it in my statement to the GW community about the Newtown tragedy,” said Dr. Knapp. “As I said, we can and must marshal our expertise in public policy and in mental and social health to reduce the incidence and scale of the senseless violence that afflicts so many parts of our society.”

George Washington University has more than 15 experts on mental health, trauma, gun control and gun violence across its 10 schools and colleges. Click here for a list of experts.

In the letter, Dr. Pelton states that the time for action is now, and that the rich academic environment universities provide will be essential in addressing gun control and gun violence.

“Our nation looks to colleges and universities to solve its most pressing problems and these are issues on which we stand ready to provide a way forward,” he said.