February 1, 2023 Blog
Honoring Black History Month
As we welcome February, we honor both Black History Month and National Gun Violence Survivors Week.
In the first month of 2023, this country experienced 55 mass shootings. At least 3,823 lives were taken too soon by this senseless violence. And while we know that the gun violence epidemic is one that impacts all of us, we also know that communities of color are disproportionately harmed.
Just last week, we were heartbroken and enraged at the release of video footage showcasing the murder of Tyre Nichols by six Memphis police officers. Tyre was one of far too many Black men whose life was cut short by violence in this country.
The truth is staggering and undeniable:
- Each day roughly 30 Black Americans are killed by guns.
- Over 110 Black Americans experience non-fatal gunshot injuries every day.
- At least every other day, a Black person is shot and killed by police.
- Black men are 23 times more likely to experience firearm-related homicide than white men.
While these numbers paint a picture, there is no statistic for the countless families irrevocably changed by this violence, the widows created, the parentless children left behind, and the countless loved ones forced to remain in a world without those they held dearest.
This month serves as a reminder to all of us here at the Alliance that the history of gun laws and the current gun violence crisis cannot be separated from white supremacy and systemic racism. We cannot end gun violence without ending police violence. The modern gun lobby was created in an attempt to oppress and control people of color. The enforcement of many actionable gun laws has historically disproportionately targeted Black men. We as an organization both recognize these truths and remain steadfast in our intention to examine our own internal biases to better support efforts of progress.
— Tori Muzyk is Digital Communications Manager at the Alliance.