CINCINNATI — The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, alongside Mayors Against Illegal Guns member Mayor Atfab Pureval, issued the following statements after an 11-year-old, Dominic Davis, was fatally shot and five others, including four children between the ages of 11 and 15, were shot and wounded in Cincinnati. According to Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, the kids were playing outside Friday night in West End when a car pulled up and shot 22 rounds.
“The horrific tragedy out of the West End this weekend is sadly the most recent incident of gun violence in our city,” said Cincinnati Mayor Atfab Pureval, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “I refuse to sit by while our communities are plagued by gun violence. As Mayor, I have a frontline view of America’s gun violence epidemic, and understand all too well that turning the tide on this crisis will require a whole-of-government approach. I will continue to demand action to prevent future tragedies and we will do everything in my power to keep our city safe.”
“No family should be forced to wonder how they will make it through. No child should be gunned down. No family should be shattered because of senseless gun violence,” said Pastor Jackie L. Jackson, program manager for the Everytown Survivor Network and Cincinnati resident who responded to the hospital this weekend. “At some point, for the sake of our children, families, communities, and our country, we must do more to keep them safe. Each one of us must collectively raise our voices, regardless of our political affiliations, say not one more, and take action by enacting gun laws that work and keep us all safe and lifting up and supporting the communities devastated by these senseless acts of violence.”
“The reality of being a kid in America means facing the risk of being shot and killed when you’re just playing outside with your friends,” said Anna Kulka, a volunteer with the University of Cincinnati Student Demand Action chapter. “My generation continues to bear the brunt of gun violence in this country. We’re being stripped of our childhood every day because of how easy it is for people who shouldn’t have guns to access them. We deserve better than this and we deserve to live in a world free from the fear of being shot at every turn.”
Cincinnati continues to struggle with high rates of gun violence. Just this year, there have been 298 reported shootings in Cincinnati. Before Friday’s shooting, two teenagers, ages 16 and 14 were shot in the West End neighborhood. According to Cincinnati police reporting, an additional 30 people have been shot in the neighborhood this year.
To save lives, legislators at all levels must take decisive steps to keep people who pose a risk to themselves or others from obtaining firearms, fund community-based violence intervention programs that save lives in the most affected communities across the country, and oppose any attempts to pass legislation supported by the gun lobby that would weaken life-saving gun laws.
As gun violence continues to devastate communities following an exponential increase in recent years, community-based violence intervention (CVI) programs are working tirelessly to sustain their work, working with individuals at the highest risk of shooting or being shot and helping reduce violence through targeted interventions — including street outreach and hospital-based violence intervention — in the country’s most vulnerable communities. These programs are on the frontlines in the cities with the highest gun violence and communities experiencing the disproportionate impact of gun violence. While historic investments have been made at all levels of government, CVI organizations still struggle to access promised funding and when they do, funding is restricted to programmatic expenses, preventing them from increasing staff, building their capacity or scaling to more people and places in need. More information about the Everytown Community Safety Fund can be found here.
Ohio has some of the weakest firearm laws in the country, scoring only 13 out of 100 for gun law strength. In an average year, 1,702 people die and 3,753 people are wounded by guns in Ohio. Gun violence costs Ohio $22.3 billion each year, of which $493.7 million is paid by taxpayers. Learn more about gun violence in Ohio here.