Gun Violence Headlines Prompt Legislative Movement

Protecting Our Children from Gun Violence

This week, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled an agreement on principle for gun safety legislation, in an attempt to address one of the nation’s most pressing and divisive issues in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.   In late April, 2022, PBS News aired an interview which explained that about 500 children had lost their lives to gun violence in the United States in the first four months of 2022.   In 2016, researchers at the University of Michigan found firearm related injuries were the second leading cause of death among American children behind car crashes.  By 2020, gun deaths soared past motor vehicle accidents to become the leading cause of death for 1 to 19 year olds in the United States.  Gun violence against children has been rising at rates almost double the rise in violence against adults over the past decade.  These deaths occur equally in rural, suburban and urban communities across the country. 

In part, the gap between automobile accidents and gun violence can be attributed to improvements in roads, vehicle saftey and changes in impaired driving laws.  Everidence-based research to all angles of the motor vehicle safety problem has markedly decreased the number of people dying from a motor vehicle crash, says Dr. Patrick Carter, Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, University of Michigan. 

The same approach can be applied to gun safety, but only recently has the federal government started to fund this type of research identifying causes and solutions.  The solution, says Carter, is not taking guns away, but applying “injury science” to figure out the most effective ways to reduce potential for harm. 

Gun Violence Reforms on the Table

Some of the reforms included in the most recent gun legislation agreement are:

  • Red flag laws:  Aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others by providing significant funding to create or improve these laws. 
  • Mental Health and Telehealth Investment: The proposal also includes “major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.”
  • Closing the “boyfriend loophole”: which addresses whether unmarried partners can keep guns if they were found guilty of violence against a dating partner.  
  • Enhanced Review under 21: Would create a more thorough review process for people between 18 and 21 buying an AR-15.  
  • Increased registration of Federally Licensed Firearm dealers
  • School security resources

Why Businesses Should Care about Gun Violence

According to Everytown Support Fund, gun violence costs the American economy billions of dollars every year, including about $49 billion annually in victims’ lost wages and productivity.  Locally, businesses are impacted because communities that experience gun violence are less likely to be hubs for economic growth and commerce, face lower property values, lose consideration for new businesses and loss of jobs.  Maybe more importantly, companies and workplaces are not immune from gun violence.  Certainly, customers and clients want to feel safe in the places they work, shop and eat. 

How You Can Help

Learn.  There are many reputable, bi or non partisan organizations that educate about gun legislation and gun violence. 

Listen.  Listen to what is being done in your community, by organizers, by parents, school boards, police organizations and your representatives. 

Support.  Support candidates, legislation and organizations that share your view on gun safety. 

Donate.  To organizations committed to reducing gun violence, especially against our most vulnerable populations. 

Wear Orange.  Every June, Wear Orange is observed, where thousands of Americans wear organce to honor the 40,000 people who are killed and 85,000 people who are sot and wounded each year.  

Vote Like a Mother.  An organization created to make parenthood a lens for politics, promoting voting with empathy, kindness and ferocity, amplifying women’s voices and efforts.  

Why Bee Supports Ending Gun Violence

Bee Reporting has been in the same community for over 30 years.  We live here, we work here, we raise our children here, we service businesses here.  Our commitment is to our communities, our families, our children.  We encourage you to engage in the issues that matter to you the most.

June 16, 2022