Gabby Giffords: “Mr. President, Stop Ignoring the Unacceptable and Devastating Rate of Gun Violence in This Country” 

Giffords Responds to the President’s Failure to Discuss Any Efforts to Pass Critical Gun Safety Measures This Year 

January 30, 2018 — Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention organization Giffords, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s first State of the Union address:

STATEMENT FROM FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS:

“Last year, we witnessed two of the deadliest mass shootings in American history. We learned the number of Americans killed with guns spiked to a level not seen in decades. This year, there have already been a dozen school shootings in just the first month of 2018. In his State of the Union address tonight, President Trump began his remarks by mentioning mass shootings that horrified the nation, but for the remaining 75 minutes he failed to detail even one policy solution to address America’s gun violence crisis.

“President Trump called on Congress to show our law enforcement officers “total and unwavering support.” He should practice what he preaches by listening to every major law enforcement organization and rejecting policy that mandates concealed carry reciprocity.

“Enough is enough. Acts of evil and criminal behavior are not a uniquely American problem, but gun violence is. Mr. President, stop ignoring the unacceptable and devastating rate of gun violence in this country—and take responsibility for enacting solutions.”

EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT

To arrange time to speak with a firearms policy or law enforcement expert, contact media@giffords.org.

THE STATE OF AMERICA’S GUN VIOLENCE CRISIS:

  • America’s firearm death rate has climbed to a level not seen in decades. In recent years, the gun death rate has begun to rise – gun deaths increased by 7.9% from 2014 to 2015 and 6.6% from 2015 to 2016, making 2016 the deadliest year since 1993. In 2016, 38,000 gun related deaths were reported. That amounts to more than 100 per day.

  • The United States has exceptionally high rates of gun violence. Over 14,000 Americans were murdered with guns in 2016 – a rate nearly 25 times higher than in peer countries. Women in the united states are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than in peer countries. And young Americans between the ages of 15 and 19 are 82 times more likely to be murdered with a gun.

  • The gun epidemic is hitting underserved communities of color particularly hard – gun homicide rates in these neighborhoods have reached a crisis point. The murder rate among black male Americans is close to 90 homicides per 100,000 – nearly 20 times the national average. Black Americans comprise just 13% of the United States population, but constitute more than 50% of all firearm homicides.

  • Every 16 hours in America a woman is fatally shot by an ex-spouse or intimate partner. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser has access to a gun.

  • The majority of gun deaths are self-inflicted. Having easy access to guns makes suicide attempts by someone in crisis far more likely to result in death. Firearms account for only 5% of suicide attempts but over 50% of suicide deaths. More than 75% of guns used in suicide attempts of children and teens were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend.

  • Unsecured guns pose a special risk to children. Kids as young as three-years-old are strong enough to pull a trigger. A total of 915 children under the age of 18 died from unintentional gunshot wounds between 2007 and 2016.

  • Gun violence has an outsized economic impact on American taxpayers, beyond the devastating human toll. Researchers estimate that gun violence costs the American economy at least $229 billion every year, including $8.5 billion in direct expenses.

SOLUTIONS THAT WILL SAVE LIVES

No one gun law will prevent every shooting, but policies solutions exist that will work to reduce gun violence and save lives. And the truth is policy solutions that reduce gun violence are not controversial — they are broadly supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. If the Trump Administration is serious about taking action to reduce gun violence and make America safer, here are some of the policy solutions they should consider:

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