The tragic shooting at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021, is an example of the impact of gun violence that hits especially close to home. Mass shootings have become so common that they are hardly noticed until it happens in our state.
Every year, 38,000 Americans die from gun violence. That’s an average of 100 deaths per day. In Michigan, 1,212 people die from guns each year. The largest number of those are suicides, at 60%, followed by homicides at 38%. The state statistics are consistent with national statistics. The United States accounts for 4% of the global population, but 35% of global firearm suicides. Gun violence is the second leading cause of death of citizens under the age of 18. Americans are also 25% more likely to be killed in a gun homicide than people in other high-income countries.
Gun violence disproportionately affects communities of color. Black men make up 52% of all gun homicide victims and less than 7% of the total U.S. population. Domestic violence victims are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm, making women in the U.S. twice as likely to be killed than women in other high-income countries.
These statistics are alarming, but little is being accomplished to address gun violence in Michigan and across the country. The Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence has a partial list of bills that seek to reduce gun violence as well as a list of bills that may increase gun violence. That list can be found here: https://michigancoalitiontopreventgunviolence.org/advocacyaction/legislative-action/
Recent bills addressing magazine capacity include Michigan Senate bills 785 and 786 and Michigan House bills 5627 and 5628. These bills prohibit selling or possessing a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition with some exceptions. It is a rare case that those who use guns for self-defense, target practice, or hunting would require more than 10 rounds of ammunition. These bills do not challenge the 2nd amendment of the U.S. constitution but are intended to prevent more mass shootings.
No law will fully address the hatred that leads to gun violence, but common-sense gun laws will make it harder for people to turn to gun violence as their solution. The Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence has a template letter that you can send to your representatives. https://michigancoalitiontopreventgunviolence.org/advocacyaction/letter-templates/
We do not have to watch in horror as gun violence ruins more lives. The problem seems so unsurmountable but telling our Michigan legislators exactly what we need them to do is within our power.
If you want to do more, consider getting involved with MCDP. We are in need of volunteers for all of our action committees. If you are interested, contact us at email@example.com and learn more. You can make a difference.
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