This weekend in Jacksonville, Florida, three people, all Black, were tragically shot and killed by a white supremacist while shopping at a Dollar General store. Reports have confirmed that this killing was an act of racist hate, intentionally targeting the Black community.
“When we have politicians speaking hate into the world, combined with ‘guns everywhere’ policies, it results in a country where people are shot and killed because of the color of their skin,” said Angela-Ferrell Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “We must simultaneously work to dismantle white supremacy as we work to prevent easy access to the weapons that make racism deadly. The families in Jacksonville, and Black communities everywhere, deserve lawmakers who will prioritize their lives–not the gun lobby–in this ongoing, preventable gun violence crisis.”
Sadly, this hate-fueled tragedy was only one of many instances of gun violence across the country over the past few days. In Choctaw, Oklahoma, a teenager was killed, and four more students suffered gunshot injuries, at a Friday night high school football game. In Massachusetts, the Caribbean Carnival in both Boston and Worcester were marked by at least ten people shot and wounded. And in Louisville, Kentucky, two people died and five more were wounded in a shooting at a restaurant.
Nowhere feels safe from gun violence – including our own neighborhoods. In Uniontown, Ohio, five family members, including three young children, were found dead from gunshot wounds in their home in what appeared to be a domestic violence incident. In Washington, D.C., an 18-year-old was shot and killed and another was shot and wounded. And in Columbia, South Carolina, a University of South Carolina student was fatally shot early Saturday after he tried to enter the wrong home on his own street.
There have been more than 478 mass shootings this year. The attack in Jacksonville is the latest in a number of shootings in recent years where a gunman has targeted Black people, including at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, last year and a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. In an average year, more than 25,000 hate crimes in the US involve a firearm—69 a day.
Black Americans experience a gun death rate 2.5 times larger than that of white Americans, experience a gun homicide rate 12 times higher, and a gun assault rate 18 times higher, than that of white Americans, and Black Americans are nearly 3 times more likely to be shot and killed by police, than white Americans.
If you are interested in speaking with a Florida Moms Demand Action or Students Demand volunteer, or a policy expert please reach out to [email protected].