The United States has a gun violence epidemic. In 2020 alone, an estimated 43,000 people in this country died due to gun violence—and young Americans, particularly young Black men, are disproportionately likely to be killed by a gun, due to decades of societal and economic conditions that have made them more susceptible and vulnerable to gun violence.
Millennials and members of Gen Z have been consistent leaders in the movements to address this crisis, successfully raising awareness of gun violence in all of its forms and centering the voices of people who have been directly impacted.
But in order to end this epidemic, our leaders must address the root causes of gun violence and treat the gun violence epidemic as a symptom of a larger issue. We need our government to take a public health approach to addressing gun violence, treating it as the intersectional, multi-faceted issue that it is.
Whether through the significant investment in community-based violence intervention problems, common-sense gun regulations at the state and federal levels, or executive orders from the president—all levels of government have an essential role to play in ending this epidemic once and for all.
Despite the clear urgency of the issue and broad public support for policies like universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, and bans on assault weapons, some politicians have cowed to special interest groups and the gun lobby, refusing to take the gun violence epidemic seriously. That must end.
Tell your representatives—your governor, state legislators, members of Congress, senators, and president—that you support a public health approach to ending the gun violence epidemic now.
The need to implement a comprehensive federal approach to reducing gun violence remains urgent. Read more about Gun Violence Prevention Priorities from Center for American Progress