Gun violence is often brought to the forefront of our attention. With every incident, the 24/7 media cycle takes the opportunity to capitalize on fear and tragedy. This raises the question, “what can we do to prevent this?”
There are numerous organizations, politicians, and high-profile individuals who seem to think the answer is gun control. This is not a sentiment we share. Utilizing the same data that is used by these organizations, politicians, and high-profile individuals, we are able to take another step deeper than they choose to go. The data they claim supports further gun control, in-fact seems to prove that it is unnecessary and that there are broader, more complex issues at play. Issues that appear to be embedded, in-part, in government, culture, society, and economics.
We believe that prevention does not require surrendering civil rights. We believe that prevention starts with tackling these challenging issues head on. This includes outreach, education, and after school programs in under served communities as well as utilizing the criminal justice system as it was intended.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that nationally the prosecution of weapons offenses has been dropping. It is an interesting correlation that we’ve been seeing firearms homicides begin to increase since this decrease in prosecution has taken place. We can see as well, that we’ve been continually trending downward in homicide rates since the assault weapons ban was lifted in 2004 and even with our most recent spike in homicides, our rates still haven’t been this low since the 1960s when you could have a firearm delivered to your home with no background check whatsoever.