The Mississippi chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statement in response to a mass shooting in Mississippi on Wednesday that left four people dead. The shooter shot and killed the owner and two employees of a hotel in Biloxi before carjacking, shooting, and killing a local public works contractor. According to reports, the shooter was found dead after a standoff with local authorities in nearby Gulfport.
“Our hearts break for all of those affected by this heinous act of gun violence,” said Mary Helen Abel, a volunteer with the Mississippi chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This is the world the gun lobby has created — one where we can’t go any where without having to fear for our lives. Mississippi needs change now, and we won’t stop holding our lawmakers accountable until we see real progress on gun safety. Our communities are depending on it.”
The destructive reach of a mass shooting stretches far beyond those killed and wounded, damaging the well-being of survivors, their families, and communities. Though mass shootings often receive the most media attention, they only represent a fraction of the gun violence that affects Mississippi communities on a daily basis.
Mississippi has the weakest gun laws in the United States, and some of the highest levels of gun violence in the country. This year, lawmakers should protect Mississippians by rejecting dangerous legislation that would weaken the state’s gun laws and, instead, support gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives, starting with funding violence intervention programs and rejecting attempts to expand the state’s Shoot First law.
In an average year 686 people are killed by guns in Mississippi, and 2,005 more are wounded. In Mississippi, 84% of all homicides involve a gun. Gun violence costs the state $5.1 billion each year, of which $272.4 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Mississippi is available here.
If you would like to speak to a volunteer with the Mississippi chapter of Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please do not hesitate to reach out.