By Early February, More Americans are Killed With Guns Than Are Killed in Other High-Income Countries in an Entire Year
New “Moments That Survive” Campaign Aims to Build Connections Between Gun Violence Survivors and the Public; Visit MomentsThatSurvive.org
WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization, today released a new report, “A Nation of Survivors: The Toll of Gun Violence in America.” The report is a compilation of research on gun violence in America, coupled with personal stories from Americans of all backgrounds. By shedding new light on issues such as the physical, psychological and economic impacts, the report gives a comprehensive look at the toll of gun violence, including the disproportionate impact on communities of color, women and children and teens.
The release comes at the start of the inaugural Gun Violence Survivors Week, February 1-8, timed to coincide with the point in the calendar year when the United States surpasses other high-income countries in gun deaths. With a gun death rate 10 times greater than other high-income nations, by early February, more Americans are killed with guns than are killed in our peer countries in an entire calendar year.
Today also marks the launch of the Moments That Survive campaign, dedicated to honoring all victims and survivors by sharing stories about how everyday life changes as a result of gun violence. The centerpiece of the Moments That Survive campaign is a virtual platform — the Moments That Survive Memory Wall — where survivors of gun violence can share their experiences to build connections among a community of survivors and the public.
STATEMENT FROM CHRISTOPHER KOCHER, DIRECTOR OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK, A PART OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“Gun violence in any form leaves an indelible mark on the lives of those who are affected. We are committed to building a movement reflective of all those who have a personal connection to gun violence — whether they have had a loved one die by suicide, homicide, or they have been wounded or witnessed an act of gun violence. We know when survivors share their stories, more Americans recognize their own personal connection to gun violence and the power of their voices.”
STATEMENT FROM DEANDRA YATES, A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK WHOSE SON 13-YEAR-OLD SON, DRE, WAS WOUNDED BY A STRAY BULLET IN INDIANAPOLIS ON FEBRUARY 1, 2014:
“Today marks five years since my son Dre was shot and wounded — a day that changed our lives forever. Before he was shot, Dre was a high-honor roll student and an outstanding football and basketball player whose smile would light up a room. Now it’s Dre’s fight for survival that has touched so many lives. His spirit and smile remain and give me strength I never knew I had. The mom in me will never give up on him and he inspires me every day to help others who have suffered great pain to find purpose.”
STATEMENT FROM SARI KAUFMAN, A 16-YEAR-OLD STUDENT AND SURVIVOR OF THE FEBRUARY 2018 MASS SHOOTING AT MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL IN PARKLAND, FLORIDA. SARI IS A VOLUNTEER WITH STUDENTS DEMAND ACTION AND A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK, BOTH PARTS OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“Valentine’s Day for me is no longer a day of love, but a day of mourning. It is now and forever the day 17 lives were taken by gun violence and 17 others were wounded at our high school. No one ever thought something like a school shooting would happen here. In fact, just a year before, Parkland had been voted Florida’s safest city. In school, I studied gun violence and even argued about gun safety policies for my debate team. But I learned the hard way, gun violence is not all about statistics. It’s about the toll on human life.”
Toplines from the newly released report include:
- A nation of survivors – In a recent national poll, 58 percent of American adults reported that they or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime.
- Gun violence in any form – whether a person has witnessed an act of gun violence, was threatened or wounded with a gun, or had someone they know or care for wounded or killed – can leave a lasting impact on people. Forms of gun violence can include, but are not limited to: gun suicides, gun homicides, domestic violence involving a gun and unintentional shootings.
- Gun suicides – More than 22,000 Americans die of firearm suicide every year, leaving countless Americans to grieve the death of their loved ones.
- Gun homicides – The burden of gun homicide falls heaviest on communities already facing structural disadvantages. Within cities, gun homicides are most common in racially segregated neighborhoods with high rates of poverty and low educational attainment. As a result, homicides disproportionately affect people of color.
- Gun injuries – Every year, more than 100,000 Americans survive a gunshot wound and are faced with a life-long process of physical and emotional healing, as well as heavy economic costs for both survivors, communities and society as a whole.
- Gun violence and children and teens – Firearms are the second leading cause of death for children and teens and the first leading cause of death for Black children and teens in the U.S. Every year, nearly 3,000 children and teens are shot and killed and approximately 15,600 are shot and injured.
- Domestic violence and guns – About 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner.
- Hate crimes and guns – In an average year, more than 10,300 violent hate crimes involve a gun – more than 28 each day. The vast majority of hate crimes are directed against communities of color, religious minorities and LGBTQ people.
The Moments That Survive campaign aims to lift up survivor stories and shine a spotlight on the countless ways gun violence affects the lives of Americans. Many survivors talk about how their lives have changed — for example, how a playground, a door closing, or a song take on a new meaning in their life after experiencing gun violence. Whether these moments are monumental or ordinary, they represent new rituals and traditions. These moments are symbols of survivors’ pain and resilience, and the ways their lives have been changed forever. Gun violence survivors and supporters can also share these moments or stories on social media using the hashtag #MomentsThatSurvive.
Additionally, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America volunteers will host events around the country during the first week of February in recognition of Gun Violence Survivors Week.