For Immediate Release:
June 3, 2022
Mayor Lumumba joins coalition vying for common-sense gun reform
(Jackson, Miss.) – Today, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is joining a coalition of current and former mayors across the country to honor the Americans shot and killed every day, as well as the hundreds more wounded as the nation continues to deal with an epidemic of gun violence. He stands with the nonprofit Mayors Against Illegal Guns by declaring June 3, 2022, National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
Sadly, gun violence has become so common in America that it’s nearly impossible to mourn the victims before another tragedy occurs. Mayor Lumumba supports a comprehensive approach to public safety that enlists the cooperation of all levels of the government and community, including school and church leaders and residents. He supports concrete steps that can be taken to curb the ease of access in purchasing a firearm and stricter gun laws that are supported by a majority of American citizens.
The statistics are clear: Americans are 25 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. Every day in America, there are more than 110 Americans shot and killed, alongside more than 200 who are shot and wounded, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 40,000 Americans are killed with guns every year and 85,000 Americans are shot and wounded as a result of gun assaults, unintentional shootings, attempted gun suicides, and shootings by law enforcement, devastating families and communities across the country.
The majority of gun homicides are concentrated in cities – half of all gun homicides took place in just 127 cities, which represented nearly a quarter of the U.S. population. Within these cities, gun homicides are most prevalent in racially-segregated neighborhoods with high rates of poverty, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.
“I stand in solidarity with over a 1,000 current and former mayors in the effort to reduce much of the senseless gun violence that occurs not just in Jackson, but across the country on a daily basis,” Lumumba said. “We are not numb to the victims of these tragedies, rather, we will continue to effort towards common-sense gun reforms that keep high-powered assault rifles with high capacity magazines out of the hands of unstable individuals. Often, the blame for gun violence falls on those areas where crime already exists, areas where poverty and crime go hand in hand. What we should realize by having witnessed the racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, the slaughter of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and most recently in Uvalde, Texas, is that gun violence can affect any one of us at any time.”
In Mississippi, there were over 800 gun deaths in 2020, with a rate of 28.6 deaths per 100,000 people, representing the highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC.
“The unregulated proliferation of guns leaves no community safe whether it is the interpersonal conflicts in Jackson or the mass shootings that are either inspired by bigotry or mental health concerns,” Lumumba said. “It is past time for us to recognize and address this challenge. A society is ultimately judged by how they treat its youth and the elderly and we’ve seen both affected by gun violence. We can do better.”
Mayor Lumumba, along with other mayors across the country, are resolved to work together to advance the following principles:
- Collect and publish data to better understand gun violence in our communities
- Center racial equity in efforts to reduce gun violence
- Advocate for gun safety legislation at all levels of the government
- Advance policies and practices that reduce firearm suicides and unintentional shootings
- Invest in survivor services and community-based violence intervention programs
- Advance enforcement strategies that ensure public safety for residents
- Defend our democracy from armed intimidation
- Implement comprehensive tracing of guns
- Bring an end to unauthorized shootings by police and hold law enforcement accountable
- Use the courts to advance gun safety
- Use purchasing power to improve gun safety
- Invite other cities to join us in this effort
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns as a coalition of 15 mayors. Since then, they have built a bipartisan group of more than 1,000 current and former mayors from nearly every state to fight for common-sense gun laws. For more information, visit: https://nationaldmo.org/about/advisoryboard/dmo_maig/