National Gun Violence Survivors Week (February 2-9) is a week focused on sharing and amplifying the stories of gun violence survivors who live with the impact of gun violence every day of the year. However, it is also important that we consider this issue 365 days of the year.
February marks the approximate time that gun deaths in the United States surpass the number of gun deaths experienced by our peer countries in an entire calendar year. Tragically, America’s gun death rate is 11 times greater than that of our peer countries. Throughout the National Gun Violence Survivors Week, gun violence survivors— including those who have witnessed an act of gun violence, been threatened or wounded with a gun, or had someone they cared for wounded or killed with a gun—share their stories using the hashtag #MomentsthatSurvive, to represent the moments and memories that endure for survivors after experiencing gun violence. These stories can be heard and shared in every city throughout our country.
WHY IT MATTERS
- To put a human face to America’s gun crisis: Gun violence changes lives forever. By sharing stories, we highlight the human consequences of gun violence in America and honor those who have been taken.
- Raise awareness and educate Americans on all forms of gun violence: Through sharing stories of all kinds, we can raise awareness of the full scope of gun violence, including the reality that two thirds of gun deaths are suicides and gun homicide disproportionately impacts communities of color, women, and children.
- Enable individuals to recognize their direct, personal connection to gun violence: We are a nation of gun violence survivors: 58% of American adults or someone they care for have personally experienced gun violence in their lifetimes. Through hearing stories, we can help more Americans who have experienced gun violence know that they are not alone, and recognize the power of their voice.
America has a problem with gun violence
The information below is taken from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence. Click for more information and source material.
- One in three people in the U.S. knows someone who has been shot.
- On average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.
- Every day on average, 55 people kill themselves with a firearm and 46 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun.
- The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population.
- A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.
Gun Violence Takes a Massive Toll on American Children
- More than one in five U.S. teenagers (ages 14 to 17) report having witnessed a shooting.
- An average of seven children and teens under the age of 20 are killed by guns every day.
- American children die by guns 11 times as often as children in other high-income countries.
- Youth (ages 0 to 19) in the most rural U.S. counties are as likely to die from a gunshot as those living in the most urban counties. Rural children die of more gun suicides and unintentional shooting deaths. Urban children die more often of gun homicides.
- Firearm homicide is the second-leading cause of death (after motor vehicle crashes) for young people ages 1-19 in the U.S.
- In 2007, more pre-school-aged children (85) were killed by guns than police officers were killed in the line of duty.
Gun Violence is a Drain on U.S. Taxpayers
- Medical treatment, criminal justice proceedings, new security precautions, and reductions in quality of life are estimated to cost U.S. citizens $100 billion annually.
- The lifetime medical cost for all gun violence victims in the United States is estimated at $2.3 billion with almost half the costs borne by taxpayers.
Americans Support Universal Background Checks
- Nine out of 10 Americans agree that we should have universal background checks, including three out of four NRA members.
- Since the Brady Law was initially passed, about two million attempts to purchase firearms have been blocked due to a background check. About half of these blocked attempts were by felons.
- Unfortunately our current background check system only applies to about 60% of gun sales, leaving 40% (online sales, purchases at gun shows, etc.) without a background check.
JPIC Resolution for 2016
Resolution on Gun Violence:
“Choose Life so that you and your descendant may live”…Dt.30:19
Statement of Resolution: Be it resolved that we, as members of the Franciscan Federation, upholding the inherent dignity of all human life and our willingness to embrace the common good, in the tradition of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, denounce all forms of gun violence that is tearing apart the social fabric of society and leaving children dead on our streets and families afraid in their homes. St. Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and spoke the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationships with one another. We pledge to work for the elimination of gun violence by committing ourselves to respect for life by cultivating a culture of life that explores nonviolent living and to advocate for each individual, family, school, and neighborhood so that our communities can once again become places of peace and beacons of life movements. Read more!
The Missing Faith Voice in the Gun Control Debate
The Missing Faith Voice in the Gun Control Debate – a blog by Jennifer Labbadia (Posted) 02/18/15
Resources on Gun Violence:
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