Now with the election behind us, newly elected members of Congress must find ways to work together to deliver results on behalf of an American electorate that turned out in record numbers to participate in our democracratic process. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage throughout the American landscape and with millions of Americans still out of work, there is no shortage of challenges ahead for the 117th Congress. But one aspect that must not be overlooked is the epidemic of American gun violence that kills nearly 40,000 Americans each year.

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As we are still learning the lessons from the 2020 elections, there is one thing that hasn’t really been discussed. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and their gun lobby allies were virtually a non-factor. After spending record amounts of money four years ago to elect Donald Trump and Republicans, they were sidelined in 2020 by financial and legal corruption scandals. They have become politically and culturally irrelevant and outdated, losing clout and influence across Washington — even in Republican circles. …


Dear Breonna,

Today you should be celebrating your 27th birthday with your loved ones. But unfortunately, your life was cut short due to a justice system that is steeped in racism. Today and every day, I will uplift your name; you made the ultimate sacrifice serving as an essential worker during this unprecedented time. You showed up for your community, and it is only right that we show up for you. Your name means “strength,” and that is what you have given me and so many others. Your name has served as a rallying cry for so many Black women.

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Artist: Ariel Sinha

When I read about what happened on March 13, my heart sank. You had so much life left to live; you were only 26 years old. This is another case where a Black woman was wrongfully killed by law enforcement in her own home, just like we saw with Atatiana Jefferson in October of last year. …


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Infectious disease is currently dominating the news. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected countries across the world, with the virus spreading quickly between individuals. The disease has altered our way of life, decimating communities, burdening our healthcare systems, and forcing people to shelter in place.

While COVID-19 remains a public health emergency, there is another ongoing public health crisis in the United States: gun violence. Though these two crises may initially seem unrelated, the two share several common threads — and the same framework for a solution.

Gun violence has many analogs to infectious disease. Like COVID-19, gun violence can affect anyone, yet it disproportionately affects communities of color, exacerbating existing inequities in these communities. And similar to infectious disease, those who are exposed to gun violence are often at increased risk for becoming victims or perpetrators. Gun violence is also similar to a disease in that it burdens our healthcare system. Between 2006–2014, emergency departments treated approximately 700,000 gunshot victims, costing hospitals around $2.8 billion annually. The total estimated economic cost of gun violence in the U.S. …


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Sixty-seven people die by firearm suicide daily — more than the deadliest mass shooting in American history happening every single day.

The numbers don’t lie. Gun violence remains our national shame.

This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data related to firearm deaths. The numbers were heartbreaking — nearly 40,000 Americans died by gun violence in 2018 — but unfortunately, they were not surprising. Despite a minimal decrease in overall firearm deaths from 2017, gun violence continues to take an enormous toll on our society.

In a new analysis of the 2018 data, our affiliate, The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, released Gun Violence in America: An Analysis of 2018 CDC Data. …


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As we head towards the holidays and a new year, far too many families in Philadelphia will have empty seats at their dinner tables. News reports indicate that more than 110 teens and children have been hit by gunfire in Philadelphia in 2019. These children and teens have been shot walking home from school, standing on the street, attending sporting events and practices, participating in average, day-to-day activities. The toll of daily gun violence is having a devastating effect on families. The deadly year in Philadelphia is not unique, but it should never be accepted as normal.

Despite the fact that 100 Americans are killed every single day in this country and gun homicide overwhelmingly affects communities of color, these deaths rarely make the national news. They rarely get mentioned outside of the local papers. These deaths are marked with small memorials, not huge vigils or viral hashtags. Community gun violence is an unspoken epidemic that many in America — including many of those elected to public office — choose to look away from. …


The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Impacted Community Team is excited to launch “Lives Impacted: Gun Violence Stories from Impacted Communities”, a monthly blog series highlighting this epidemic in the communities most affected, yet rarely discussed.

Last Friday, Clarence Venable was fatally shot leaving a training session on how to become violence interrupter. The program was an effort to take action and reduce the levels of violence in Washington, DC that have been steadily increasing over the past few years. …


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The real history of the extreme risk law — as told by its creators.

On Monday, Donald Trump addressed the nation regarding the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. He accepted no responsibility for his role in inspiring and emboldening armed white supremacists. He called people with mental illness “monsters.” He blamed video games for our nation’s gun violence epidemic. In short, he got it almost completely wrong. Almost.

The one thing Trump got right was our country’s need for Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) — sometimes called extreme risk laws.

As of August 2019, 17 states and the District of Columbia have enacted ERPO: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. But before this policy gained present-day popularity among policymakers and constituents, ERPO was being tested, developed, and discussed by experts. …


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Even after 30 years of working in gun violence prevention, weekends like this past one never get easier. Two mass shootings within 24 hours. Dozens dead. Warning signs of violence unheeded. Weapons of war ripping families apart. And in one case, a racist manifesto that echoes the rhetoric of the President of the United States. In my decades of working in this field, I have seen the evolution of armed hatred in this country. And this weekend made one thing frighteningly clear: we have a heavily armed, unregulated citizen militia acting on behalf of Donald Trump.

I have spent much of my career studying and writing about insurrectionism — the anti-democratic notion that unfettered access to private arms provides a check on government tyranny. In my 2009 book, Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea, co-author Casey Anderson and I discuss the rise of insurrectionism in the United States — and the dangerous consequences of this ideology throughout world history. …


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No more thoughts and prayers. It’s time for votes and laws.

Earlier this summer, 12 people were shot and killed by their coworker in a Virginia Beach municipal building. This act of senseless violence had a traumatic ripple effect on the entire community. Parents, partners, friends, and neighbors received news that their loved ones would not be coming home.

As I watched the news, my heart ached for the community and the families of those killed. I know what it is like for gun violence to touch your life out of nowhere — because 12 years ago, it happened to my family.

On April 16, 2007, I got a call that every parent in America has come to dread, but no one expects. It was my 19-year-old daughter Emily, calling from outside her classroom at Virginia Tech: “Hi, Mommy. …


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“Shedding personal prejudices is an important way to live a more open and inclusive life.”

Throughout Mental Health Month, we will be sharing Q&As with individuals who have experience with different aspects of mental health and gun violence. Today, we share a Q&A with Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz. Josh has spent nearly three decades working on gun violence prevention issues. In 2013, Josh helped found the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, a group of mental health and public health experts who examine the intersection of guns and mental health.

  1. How did you think about gun violence and mental illness at the beginning of your career?

I have been working in this field for almost 30 years, so it is hard to remember exactly how I approached this issue at the beginning. For a good chunk of my career, I did not give it a lot of thought. To the extent I thought about it at all, I had a very simplistic, binary, and ultimately stigmatizing mindset; I equated mental illness with erratic and violent behavior. …

About

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is a 501(c)(4) organization founded in 1974. We are the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization.

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