1 in 5 Adults Have Lost a Family Member to Gun Violence
Demand your representatives take action on gun violence NOW.
The big picture: Gun violence in the U.S.
- New research has found just how much gun violence impacts the nation's mental health, suggesting that the shootings have negative impacts beyond the direct survivors and community, and into the broader population of Americans.
- A recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that gun violence has impacted most families in the U.S. — just over half of all adults have a connection to at least one firearm-related incident. Nearly one in five adults have had a family member killed by a gun or have been personally threatened with a gun, and about one in six have witnessed someone being shot.
- Black adults are around twice as likely as white or Hispanic adults to have a family member killed by a gun or witness a gunshot injury. A third of Black and Hispanic adults worry daily that one of their family members will be a victim of gun violence — nearly three times the share of white adults.
- The survey found that about four in 10 adults, including those with children, live in a household with guns. Of this subgroup, 75% said their firearms are stored in a way that does not reflect standard gun-safety practices.
What they're saying
- The frequency of mass shootings in the U.S. has led to an exponential increase in indirect impacts on the general public. Leah Brogan, a psychologist who works at the Center for Violence Prevention and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said:
"We know that exposure through the media – which can happen across many different outlets, with a swipe of a finger or a ding on your phone – to some type of traumatic event can result in someone experiencing an acute stress reaction and can trigger underlying post-traumatic stress…[T]hat constant exposure can be escalating and activating people even when they don't experience something directly."
- Mass shootings are often depicted as a public health issue needing a curated set of interventions. Mental health hotlines, which can offer some relief and solutions for those in distress, report an uptick in calls and messages directly after mass shootings as people, mainly young adults and teens, are encompassed with fear, grief, and helplessness.
- Dr. Shairi Turner, the chief health officer for the Crisis Text Line, an internist, and a pediatrician, said many are reaching out to establish a sense of stability in their own lives. She continued:
"Under the age of 20 or 22, our brains are still developing, and we're still formulating our understanding of the world. Children and young adults start to create narratives around their own safety, the safety of their schools and homes and communities based on what they are witnessing. Tragedies can tend to make them think that the world is an unsafe place."
- Brogan and Turner both emphasized the importance of processing these events without letting them define you. Turner said:
"It can take days to weeks to months to process tragedy. Reach out for support, listen to each other's feelings, and set boundaries around how much you're taking in of current crises."
Gun violence is consuming America. Demand your reps take action now.
(Photo credit: Flickr/olshinb)
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As someone who has had a family member die because of a gun, I know just how hard it is to overcome the grief of losing someone in such a violent way. Guns have the ability to affect any family at any time even if there aren't any in their own household. Guns are everywhere and nowhere is safe. Our schools aren't safe, our communities aren't safe, and even our own homes aren't safe. How many more people do we have to lose in order for something to be done? Guns laws should have been passed back when Columbine happened. We continue to say never again but it means nothing when we let it happen again and again. Something needs to change.
Shootings always spike when Democrats are in office
Its a lie, Drugs are #1 killer, Shootings were non existant under the Trump administration, 97% of shootings come from Blacks in Democrat run States.
Please do something about gun control now! It is an American problem with an American emergency. We cannot afford to wait any longer. To many schools, malls, and churches have been the sites of very serious gun problems. NOW! The rest of the world is watching.
Let me add my voice to the multitude of voices who are calling for an immediate ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons. The vast majority of Americans are fed up with the daily news of yet another mass shooting in every part of the country - 190 so far this year! Who is next? Whose school? Whose supermarket? Whose shopping mall? Whose parade? For a political party that purports to care for the health and existence of children (draconian abortion bans and restrictions, transgender issues, drag queen performances), the GOP cares little for the existential threat of little ones (adults, too) who may find themselves in the line of fire from these hideous weapons of true mass destruction.
I imagine you are daily pestered by large ticket donors to your campaign and lobbyists who urge you to vote in their interests, to "be loyal and do the right thing," to help them profit from this destruction. Well, sir, it is long past time for you stop listening to the power of money and instead listen to the wishes of the American people. You were sent to Washington to represent us, your constituents, not the money that seems to flow so freely among our elected representatives.
And please do not dare to hide behind the fashionable excuse that these mass shootings are caused by "mental illness" (and then do nothing to address mental health issues anyway. Other nations have citizens who suffer from mental illness, but these nations do not suffer from weekly mass shootings.) The vast majority of those with a mental illness are not violent. If anything, they are a danger to themselves, not others. So, no one believes that lie anymore.
It is apparent that there is a frighteningly large segment of our population that takes pleasure in hurting others. That is a real problem that must be addressed separately. It is a problem, however, that the continued inaction by legislative leaders is putting lethal weapons of war into the hands of such dangerous people. The problem is that these weapons of war do not belong in the hands of civilians at all nor on the streets of this country. If anywhere, they belong on the battlefield. They are not used for personal protection and certainly not for hunting. They are designed to shoot as many bullets in as short a time as possible to kill as many other human beings (as horrible and unimaginable as that image ought to be for any of us) as possible. You may have seen the images of what these weapons do to victims. They do not leave neat little holes, rather they tear and shred bone and tissue of these little ones - even to the point of decapitation!
And please do not dare to hide behind the Second Amendment. The "protection" of the Second Amendment does not, stretch it as you may, include weapons of war. Are people permitted to own military tanks and other war machines and apparatus and parade them through the streets and into public places at will? Of course not. In 1934, Thompson machine guns "Tommy guns" were outlawed. AR-style weapons did not exist in 1934. So maybe its time to add AR-style weapons to the list of weapons banned for use by ordinary "law-abiding" citizens.
The recent bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Biden represents only the tiniest baby step toward a real solution to the problem of mass shootings. So, as I said, I am adding my voice to the fed-up majority of Americans and asking you reach down and pluck up the courage to "do the right thing" for the American people. Put an end to the daily wasteful carnage and suffering that are every day visited upon the population.
The primary role of a government is to protect the health and safety of its population. This continual legislative inaction does neither.
Drastic gun reform needed! Where are all the PRO LIFERS?????
No law will prevent all gun deaths. But the fact that nothing will prevent all gun deaths doesn't mean that there is nothing that can be done to reduce gun deaths. It is a fact that America has more gun deaths than any other developed country. Are supporters of unlimited gun rights arguing that Americans are inherently more mentally ill and evil than citizens of other developed countries? If not, then what explains why there is so much more gun violence in the US? There is only one real difference - the number of guns, the type of guns owned by Americans and the lack of standards to determine who can responsibly own a gun. No other developed country allows it's citizens to own weapons of war like AR-15s and AK-47s. No other developed country makes it easy for literally anyone to own weapons without any conditions or training. The sheer number of guns in the US means that there will be many more gun deaths from accidents and suicides than in other countries. The lack of safe storage laws means children will pick up guns and shoot themselves, their friends, siblings, or classmates. Gun manufacturers and the gun lobby stoke disproportionate fears of violence for which guns are the only antidote. Guns are equated with manliness and strength. Republicans stoke fears about black people and immigrants coming to hurt us and take our stuff. Laws like "Stand Your Ground" make it acceptable to shoot first and ask questions later on the basis of, not actual danger, but a subjective emotional perception of danger. The availability of weapons of war, expanded magazines, and unlimited access to ammunition, make it easy for bigoted and mentally ill people to express their rage through mass killings. Of course America has a gun violence problem. To suggest there is nothing we can do, even to save our fellow citizens' lives, is not a measure of strength but of pathetic weakness. Someone will surely tell me that the Second Amendment gives people an unrestricted right to guns. That is absolute BS. It's convenient how everyone ignores the "well regulated militia" language of the Second Amendment. Where is the "well regulated militia" element of gun ownership? (Even the US military does not allow its soldiers to carry their weapons everywhere outside of a war zone.) And where are those who say the Constitution should be interpreted in the way the Founders understood their words? "Bearing arms" back in the day meant a weapon that could fire only one bullet before reloading. The founders certainly didn't anticipate weapons like AR-15s. If we want to change things, people are going to have to start voting for people who will take action to change the status quo. That means, even if you have been a republican your whole life, voting for a democrat or independent who supports taking action on guns because it is clear that republicans won't do anything. And while they dither, our children are dying. Our children deserve better.
Until people face reality and understand the root cause of this issue they will always fall back on the term gun violence. If guns didn't exist they'd call it something else but never will they addresss root cause which is the mindset of the human being that pulls the trigger.
If I was sitting at a table with the biggest gun control advocate on this planet and told that person write any law you want that will stop me from violating it, you think that person will succeed?
When you're driving down the road, how many people are violating the speed limit? So pass more laws and see if it works?
Lie, 1 -5 lost someone to drug OD's, 97% of the shootings come from Blacks/ drugs along with a few Psycopaths, No Hunter Educated or NRA member ever shot anybody.
It is now quite clear that Causes is not the unbiased site for political discussion and pol taking it claimed to be at it's debut. This blatant call to support more gun control and contact our legislators to vote accordingly exposes the dishonest face it put on; it is in reality a far leftist activist tool.
This is very sad, but it shows what our runaway gun culture in this country has wrought.
Even gun suicide is gun violence
Guns are the number one killer of children in this country.
If you want to save the babies, start with the guns.
Hello sick Durbin, stop allowing Republicans to block would-be Democrat appointed judges. We'll veto you out of office for such treachery!