Over the weekend, acts of gun violence impacted communities across the country — some of which were tragically deadly. Many of these shootings occurred in major cities, highlighting the importance of addressing city gun violence.
On Friday night, at least two people were wounded in three separate shootings in Seattle, Washington – just part of a growing wave of gun violence in the state, where in Tacoma five people were shot, two fatally. And in Texas on Friday night, four people were killed in a mass shooting related to an attempted robbery in Fort Worth and just days before, a 21-year-old woman was shot to death in Dallas during what reports say was a dispute over a basketball game.
According to officials 22 people were shot, two fatally across Chicago, Illinois over the holiday weekend. Reports indicate that at least four of the victims were minors. On Friday, three people were shot outside a high school football game in Toledo, Ohio. And in Washington, DC 4 people were shot and wounded in a drive-by shooting, on Friday, and in separate shootings on Sunday four teens and three adults were shot and wounded. And on Friday, a man was fatally shot during a bar fight in downtown Tucson, Arizona. Earlier in the week, a professor was shot and killed by a former student at a shooting on University of Arizona campus in Tucson.
“We don’t have to live this way and we certainly don’t have to die this way,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities, whether they’re shopping, watching a school football game, walking in the park, or getting a drink with friends. To make cities safer from gun violence, lawmakers at every level must prioritize policies to address the root causes of gun violence in cities across the country, particularly in historically underfunded neighborhoods.”
The impact of these shootings reverberates far beyond those who are killed or wounded. Each incident of gun violence leaves visible and invisible scars on survivors, families, and entire communities. Unfortunately, these shootings represent only a fraction of the gun violence that impacts cities across the country every single day. In an average year, 40,620 people are killed by guns across the country, and 76,374 more are wounded — a crisis that has grown even more deadly over time. We all bear the economic burden of injuries and deaths caused by firearms. The incidents of gun violence above alone collectively cost these states more than $151 million, of which over $9 million is paid by taxpayers, along with the unmeasurable human cost of trauma and loss, for our failure to prevent gun violence.
While there is no one solution to end gun violence, community violence intervention programs play a key role in making cities safer. Organizations like D.C.’s Yaay Me Inc., Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, and Community Passageways in Seattle have been working through the pandemic to prevent gun violence. By utilizing a public health model, these community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods. Leaders and lawmakers must create community-driven, evidence-based implementation plans to ensure that resources are efficiently meeting the needs of the neighborhoods they are intended to serve. More information about city gun violence is available here.
To speak with a volunteer with Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please do not hesitate to reach out.