The South Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action issued the following statement in response to a shooting on Thursday at Greenville’s Tanglewood Middle School in which 12-year-old Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson was shot and killed. According to reports, deputies with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office have taken the shooter, who has been identified as another 12-year old Tanglewood student, into custody.
“I am heartbroken for the children and families who have been forever changed by this shooting,” said Melody McFadden, a Senior Survivor Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network and a volunteer with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While we still don’t know all of the details, it’s clear that this child should not have had access to a firearm and Jamari should be alive today. We must teach our children about conflict resolution, but more importantly, we need policies in place to ensure that children can’t use deadly weapons to take actions with irreversible consequences, because our kids deserve a world free from gun violence.”
While South Carolina does have a law prohibiting guns in K-12 schools, the state has weak firearm laws overall, and there are still key policies state lawmakers can put in place to help prevent gunfire on school grounds. Secure firearm storage in homes is one of the most effective tools to prevent gun violence in schools. According to research from the U.S. Secret Service, up to 76% of school shooters obtain their gun from their home or the home of relatives. In addition to preventing gun violence on school grounds, research shows that secure firearm storage also plays a vital role in reducing unintentional shootings and gun suicide. By keeping firearms securely stored, gun owners can help mitigate the risk of gun violence in and out of schools.
In 2021 there were at least 8 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in South Carolina. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in the state. More information about gun violence in South Carolina is available here.
If you would like to speak to a volunteer with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please do not hesitate to reach out.