Gun violence is a public health crisis.
Everywhere we go – movie theaters, places of worship, concerts, schools, malls – the threat of gun violence follows. We now live in an age where if someone mentions the Aurora mass shooting, an appropriate response is “which one?”
Beneath these headlines lies the “every day” toll of gun violence in America. Women shot by their domestic abusers, toddlers killed for their curiosity because a firearm was kept unsecured, and drug deals gone wrong, to name a few. All of these types of gun deaths combined still are outnumbered by the single greatest cause of gun death in this country: suicide.
Gun violence does not discriminate. It can, and does, impact every type of person in every corner of our country. But many communities are impacted at a disproportionate rate. For example:
- Women in the US are 16 times more likely to be shot and killed than women in other developed nations.
- Black Americans are 10 times more likely than white Americans to die by gun homicide.
- Firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens.
- LGBTQ hate crimes are on the rise, with half of victims being killed by firearms.
- A young Native American commits suicide with a gun every six days in the United States.
More guns equals more gun violence.
Right now, there are more guns than people in the United States. For too long, the gun lobby – led by the NRA – has distorted our Second Amendment right to bear arms and has essentially dictated our nation’s gun policy. Bill after bill to prevent gun violence died in Congress, and empty platitudes became a substitute for meaningful action from our legislators.
The tide is shifting.
The good news is that we know we can prevent gun violence with commonsense gun safety reforms. And more and more people are demanding meaningful change to our nation’s gun laws. Young people – led by the survivors of the Parkland shooting in 2018 – have invigorated the movement, and politicians are taking notice. The “lockdown generation” has begun to reach voting age and has vowed to vote out any lawmaker that continues to ignore this epidemic.
We are also seeing meaningful action at the state and local level. See how Washington State has become a national leader in the gun violence prevention movement.