WEAR ORANGE EDITION

JUNE IS GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH!

 

STATE AFFILIATE NEWS

MICHIGAN: The Extreme Risk Protective Order was signed into law on May 22, 2023.
 
MINNESOTA: Governor Walz signed several gun violence prevention measures into law. Extreme Risk Protection Orders, Universal Background Checks, and funding for Community Violence Intervention and Gun Violence Research were enacted on May 19, 2023.
 
ILLINOIS: After being challenged twice, the Assault Weapons Ban remains law. In a one-sentence order, SCOTUS declined a request from a gun store owner and a gun rights group to block the state AWB ban law.
 
In May, the Gun Industry Accountability Act passed the Illinois General Assembly that will prohibit advertising and marketing that encourages para-Military or unlawful private militia activity; and prevent targeted advertising to minors. Governor Pritzker has publicly stated he will sign it.
 
NORTH CAROLINA: The permit-less carry bill was pulled from the NC House calendar after North Carolinians Against Gun Violence rallied volunteers, advocates and survivors to contact their legislators and put a stop to this dangerous bill.

JUNE IS PRIDE MONTH
Did you know LGBTQ+ people are more than twice as likely to be a victim of gun violence than their cisgender and straight peers?

LGBTQ+ youth also disproportionately face violence at school. 29% of transgender youth have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property, compared to 7% of cisgender youth.

#DISARMHATE for PRIDE

MAY 2023 NEWS

Guns to Gardens provides an opportunity for NH residents to remove unwanted firearms from circulation. More people understand that having a firearm in the home can be dangerous, especially with young children and teens in the house.

New Hampshire state law prohibits law enforcement from destroying firearms which come into their possession and must either store the firearms or sell them back out on the market. 

“Many thanks to our friends at States United for the wonderful states gathering in December that led to the conversation that sparked this event!” ~ Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director GunSense NH

Guns to Gardens has hosted events at our affiliates in Utah, Maine and New Mexico.

Melody Vaccaro, executive director of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence was penalized with a lifetime ban from the NE State Capitol for yelling “shame” at members of the Legislature after a final reading vote on permit-less carry bill.

The excessive ban was recognized as an overreach and the NE State Patrol rescinded the sanction less than a week later.

AUGUST 4, 2020

The news out of cities like New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis all reflect the same crisis of gun violence in communities of color. Babies and toddlers have been shot on sidewalks and in moving cars. Fathers, high school graduates, mourners at funerals, young children visiting their grandparents… the stories of the lives lost are numerous and each one is heartbreaking.

It’s not just this summer, and it’s not just Covid. The results of inaction, systemic racism, and an unwillingness to change are borne out by the data that we have compiled on gun homicide among Black men and teens between 2009-2018.

The numbers are irrefutable and are a cause for national shame. We have turned our backs on community-led programs that work in favor of more and more policing. We have poured our resources into largely white communities after mass shootings while ignoring the daily toll–both physical and psychological–of gun violence in Brown and black communities. We have called the problem “intractable” and have insisted that we wouldn’t know where to begin, when leaders in the affected communities began long ago and have been leading the way all along.

Help us live the ideals of Black Lives Matter by making sure the lives of those lost to gun violence also matter. Take a look at the data. Read the stories. Say their names. And then share this information and commit to centering Black and brown leaders who have been doing this work for longer than anyone should have to.

The Community Justice Action Fund

Advance Peace

These local and nation organizations working in violence intervention

JULY 1, 2020

The past six months have been one of the most awe inspiring, as well as retraumatizing, times in my life. For me, as a wounded survivor of gun violence, it is painful to see how our movement has failed Black communities and other communities of color where the wounded try to gather up the pieces of their lives with few resources and little support. Meanwhile, after school shootings in largely white communities, extensive resources flow in. In some cases, these resources have equalled the cost of building three new schools.

I know that I am not alone in feeling this pain and frustration. I also know that every day, I am joined by dedicated state affiliate staff and supporters to continue the work of gun violence prevention. There have been new partnerships made, and new conversations are being held about what policies look like–not just for white communities–but for all communities. The next five months will find all of us fighting as hard as we can, with both new and existing partners, to get out the vote. We are moving in a good direction, but we must do more to transform this movement.

In January of 2020, the Board of Directors of States United to Prevent Gun Violence and I began the difficult work of  having conversations around Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. The beauty of States United is that we come to this work from different places. That also brings challenges that we must overcome. We have added new board members, and are in conversation with potential new board members. We are looking at the fences that we have put in the way of diversifying not only our board, but our work. We are hiring a consultant to help us.

Gun violence is a public health problem and always has been. We all have the essential human right to live free of gun violence. To succeed in our work, we must tear down old ways of communication and build new.

We have committed to the work of painful discussions followed up by actions.  We dream of doing no more harm, and acknowledge that we need help.

I hope you will all engage with us during this new time of building anew.

JUNE 19, 2020

Today is Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day in 1865 when more than a quarter-million people enslaved people in Texas learned that they had gained their freedom two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Now, 155 years later, people of color in America are still waiting for liberation–from oppressive systems that have left communities reeling from a combination of violence and the Covid pandemic, systems that abuse and brutalize when the should protect, systems that sit by when Black Americans are 10 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white Americans.

Today, we invite you to join us in National Day of Healing to address the layers of trauma, devastation, loss, and broken-heartedness that communities are experiencing. During this monumental event, organizers will honor and memorialize loved ones lost and teach self-care techniques to help all of us heal and gather strength for the difficult times ahead. States United to Prevent Gun Violence is honored to be a sponsor of this event.

For information on the National Day of Healing and additional events happening today and this weekend, please visit:

National Day of Healing sixnineteen.com (rallies and other actions happening throughout the country on 6/19)

june2020.org (Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Virtual Gathering)

We cannot counter gun violence without calling out the racism that allows it to flourish in communities of color. We must support the people who are directly impacted, heal our own broken hearts, and prepare ourselves for the work to come.