Today, Washington, DC, recorded its 200th homicide of 2021. This is the highest number of homicides recorded in the District of Columbia since 2003. Over the past year, the District has experienced a number of deadly weekends of gun violence, including last month when 2 people were shot and killed and 12 others were wounded in one weekend spanning across all four DC quadrants.
Research on violence intervention programs shows that they help reduce gun violence in communities disproportionately impacted, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated gun violence. Washington, D.C. has taken steps this year to support the life-saving work of these programs with historic levels of funding in the new fiscal year budget which was announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser in May of 2021, approved by the D.C. Council in August, and went into effect this past month. The funding — over $59 million utilized from the American Rescue Plan — includes provisions for employment programs, street outreach, alternative dispatch, the expansion of the DC Pathways program, and expansions for trauma-informed mental health services, among others.
In an average year, over 119 people die by guns in the District of Columbia and 448 more are wounded. The District has the highest rate of gun homicides in the country compared to all 50 states. Gun violence costs the District of Columbia $1.1 billion each year, of which $90.9 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in the city is available here.
If you would like to speak with a D.C. Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer, please do not hesitate to reach out.