Combat Urban Gun Violence with Proven Prevention and Public Health Programs

Target: Mitch McConnell, United States Senate Majority Leader

Goal: Enact gun violence prevention programs that utilize involved community outreach and support.

1,000: this represents the number of lives lost in Baltimore because of gun violence in the last two years. State leaders, alarmed by this epidemic, adopted a little-heralded public health approach to combating these senseless deaths. Their efforts, like many similar models across the country, are paying off with lives saved.

Maryland leadership put aside its partisan divides to support one of the nation’s most sizable anti-gun violence packages. In addition to more contentious and high-profile measure such as the banning of bump stocks, the Maryland bill will give an essential financial boost of five million dollars for programs focused on gun violence prevention. Many of these programs, such as the successful Cure Violence initiative, funnel support and outreach resources into the urban areas that lose a disproportionate number of their young citizenry to gun fatalities. Recognizing the complex social factors that often fuel gang-related and other urban violence (like poverty and unemployment), the Cure Violence program sends highly trained and qualified street case workers to act as mediators and counselors for at-risk populations.

Many cities enacting programs like this that address the root causes of violence have seen their homicide rates fall dramatically, but only a few states have invested in such programs. Sign this petition to demand our nation’s lawmakers–who so often speak of addressing the issues underlying gun violence–keep their word and support vital, proven prevention programs.

PETITON LETTER:

Dear Senator McConnell,

“Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”

This oft-cited line by gun advocates and many politicians may hold a fundamental truth. Following every headline-grabbing shooting, lawmakers do indeed wax poetic about confronting the underlying drivers of gun violence. Yet in practice, you have done little to nothing.

Every year, thousands lose their lives in little-publicized urban gun violence deaths. Even if we set aside the devastated families and communities left behind in each of these ‘incidents,’ experts estimate that each gun death in this country will cost the average taxpayer (from California to Alabama and every state in between) $40,000  per year. Our gun violence epidemic is not a problem relegated to congested cities or dark alleyways. It is a national epidemic.

Maryland recently set a revolutionary precedent that this nation’s lawmakers would be derelict in their duty not to follow. This state will invest millions of dollars in the types of public health, prevention, and case worker-centered community outreach programs that have proven so promising in under-siege communities across America.

Use successes like Baltimore’s Cure Violence program as a standard-bearer and commit to anti-violence tools that can save countless lives.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Anita Peppers

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2 Comments

  1. Maurice Robison says:

    This is a deceptive petition! It suggests that there are PROVEN prevention and public health programs that combat urban gun violence. There are NOT! There will be fluctuations in many things, including gun violence, but nothing has been PROVEN to significantly affect the rate of gun violence.

    How sincere are the people who want to stop gun violence? When they find that they can’t take all guns away from law-abiding citizens, they refuse to attempt other measures, such as doing away with “gun free zones.” If those had worked, none of these shootings would have happened. Get rid of “gun free zones” and quit giving the shooters their own worry-free shooting gallery. Are the parents of these teenage shooters being held responsible for their children having possession of these weapons?

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