The Washington, DC chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to a shooting early this afternoon outside a funeral home in Northeast D.C in which one person was shot and killed and three people were shot and wounded. Although the investigation is still unfolding, police report that the shooting appears to be targeted and occurred when people were standing outside a funeral home after a service for a person who was also shot and killed.
“Funerals for loved ones that were shot and killed have become a routine for so many in our communities — people can’t even grieve one shooting before another takes place,” said Fernando Smith, a volunteer with the District of Columbia chapter of Moms Demand Action who has survived numerous experiences with gun violence including his best friend who was shot and killed, his brother being shot and wounded, and Fernando himself being shot and wounded. “As gun violence continues to persist at crisis levels in DC, we call upon our lawmakers on the Council to reject proposed cuts to community violence intervention programs in the District’s budget and instead provide sustainable investment that allows these critical programs to disrupt these horrific cycles of violence in our communities.”
While there is no one solution to end gun violence, Community Violence Intervention Programs play a key role in making cities safer. By utilizing a public health model, community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods. While these programs are often uniquely situated to address violence in their communities, they need support from policymakers in order to sustain and expand their life-saving work. Leaders and legislators must invest in these community-driven, evidence-based interventions.
In an average year in Washington, DC, 155 people die by guns. Over 90 percent of gun deaths in the District of Columbia are by firearm homicide. Gun violence costs the District of Columbia $2.0 billion each year. More information on gun violence in the District of Columbia is available here.