Durham, N.C. – The North Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements in response to a shooting late Tuesday evening in Durham. According to reports, two teens were shot and killed, and a third was wounded with life-threatening injuries near Brogden Middle School.
“Being a kid in America shouldn’t be a death sentence,” said Rae Rackley, a Students Demand Action volunteer and high school student in North Carolina. “We’re tired of seeing headlines of young people being shot day after day, and we’re tired of our lawmakers offering their thoughts and prayers while weakening our gun laws. Until we can all be safe in our communities, we will continue to show up and demand that they take action to end gun violence in North Carolina so kids can just be kids.”
“Like many mothers, I say a prayer every time my child leaves the house. My heart breaks for the many families who say the same prayers only to get that unthinkable phone call of a child’s life being cut short,” said Sylvia Burns, a volunteer with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While we struggle to process the grief of having our children and friends taken from us, we will continue to demand more from our lawmakers. We are tired of watching the unimaginable become real.”
North Carolina just passed a dangerous bill that would repeal background checks on all unlicensed handgun sales. The bill awaits a veto from North Carolina Roy Governor Cooper. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens (ages 1 to 19) in the United States. Every year, 18,000 children and teens are shot and killed or wounded and approximately 3 million are exposed to gun violence. Children and teens in the U.S. are impacted by gun violence in all its forms. Exposure to gun violence has an impact on the psychological and mental well-being of children and teens and affects their school performance, among other factors.
Children and teens in the U.S. experience staggeringly high rates of gun deaths and injuries. They are also harmed when a friend or family member is killed with a gun, when someone they know is shot, and when they witness and hear gunshots.
North Carolina has the 23rd highest rate of gun deaths in the US, and North Carolina is missing key firearm laws, scoring only 31 out of 100 for gun law strength while maintaining the 16th-highest rate of gun homicides in the United States. To further protect North Carolinians, the state could strengthen its laws by expanding its permit requirement to apply to all gun sales, not just handgun sales, instead of working to repeal it.
In an average year, 1,588 people are killed by guns in the state, with a 47% death increase from 2012 to 2021, compared to a 39% increase nationwide. Gun violence costs North Carolina around $19.5 billion each year. More information about gun violence in North Carolina is available here.