To: Bobby Hopewell, Mayor, Don Cooney, Vice Mayor, David Anderson, Commissioner, Erin Knott, Commissioner, Matt Milcarek, Commissioner, Shannon Sykes, Commissioner, Jack Urban, Commissioner, John H Gisler, County Commissioner, Jeff Heppler, ...
Not in our name, and not with our money
We need to reduce gun violence in America and ensure that no person or corporation can profit from gun violence in our communities. Too often news of gun violence, like we experience too frequently in Kalamazoo, results in increased gun sales and greater profits for companies making guns and ammunition. We can break this vicious cycle by refusing to invest in these companies. As individuals we will investigate our own investments to ensure that we are not profiting from gun violence. As taxpayers, we demand that our elected representatives divest all public funds from companies manufacturing guns and ammunition as soon as possible.
Why is this important?
Responding to a string of tragic shootings in Kalamazoo County since January 1, 2016 that have left several Kalamazoo area residents dead or badly injured, residents and community leaders are drawing attention to the epidemic of gun violence in the United States and taking aim directly at the companies profiting from it.
Gun sales tend to increase after mass shooting events, increasing revenue for the gun industry, much of which is used to influence elections and lobby elected officials to prevent passage of common sense gun regulations at the state and national level.
We need to take action as individuals by selling off any investments we have in companies that profit from gun violence and calling on others, especially our elected officials, to do the same.
Kalamazoo city and county would not be the first local governments or pension funds to divest from the gun industry. New York City, Chicago, the state of Rhode Island, and the California State Teachers Retirement System, valued at nearly $150 billion, have already acted to sell off, and stop purchasing, investments in the gun industry.
For more information on divestment from gun manufacturers, see http://unloadyour401k.com/
Certainly individual behaviors and ideas about guns need to change, but we also need to change the incentives so that gun makers cannot profit from gun violence.