September 15 to October 15 is Latinx Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and history of the Latinx community. We also recognize the ways that the Latinx community is affected by gun violence. Latinx people in the United States are dying from gun violence every day, and at rates disproportionate to their white peers.
Increasingly, Latinx people are the target of hate-motivated violence, including in August 2019, when the devastating mass shooting in El Paso, Texas laid bare the deadly consequences of hate and rhetoric against the Latinx community.
Why We Use Latinx
Developed within queer and trans communities, the term Latinx is a gender-neutral word designed to be inclusive of gender-fluid, gender nonconforming, and/or gender nonbinary people, as well as other queer and trans communities on the gender spectrum.
Often used interchangeably, “Latinx” and “Hispanic” have different meanings: Latinx refers to people of Latin American origin, while Hispanic refers to people of Spanish-speaking origin. Latinx is used here when we are referring to both Hispanic and Latinx communities, and Hispanic is used otherwise.
The Impact of Gun Violence on Latinx Communities
Latinx communities experience gun violence at rates disproportionate to their white peers. Each year, more than 4,100 Latinx people die from gun violence in the United States—an average of 11 deaths every day—and 13,300 are shot and wounded.
Each year, more than 4,100 Latinx people die from gun violence in the US.
Cada año, más del 4,100 personas latinx mueren de violencia con armas de fuego en los Estados Unidos (un promedio de 11 muertes por día) y 13,300 son disparadas y heridas.
Read stories from Latinx voices in the gun violence prevention movement.
Moms Demand Action Volunteer, Selina Saenz
“Gun violence prevention is important to me for so many reasons—especially after witnessing the damage and trauma done to my beautiful community by hate and easy access to guns,” Selina said. “There was no way that gun violence prevention was not going to be part of my life’s work.”
Students Demand Action Volunteer Leader, Ade Osadolor
“The gun violence prevention movement is important to me because as a Mexican and Black woman, I constantly fear for my safety and the safety of the communities and cultures that have shaped me,” Ade said. “I grew up in Puebla, Mexico and still consider it home even though my family has since migrated to Texas.”
President and CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Linda Xochitl Tortolero
“When I first began working at Mujeres Latinas en Acción, I was impressed by Mujeres’ legacy as the longest standing Latina organization in the country,” Linda said. “Now, as the president and CEO of the organization since 2017, I continue to be inspired by the perseverance and resilience of immigrant and Latina gender-based violence survivors.”
For survivors of gun violence
Survivors of a shooting incident are left to deal with its aftermath. If you are a survivor of gun violence, you may feel overwhelmed by grief, trauma, and any number of other problems that gun violence leaves in its wake. Read our guide to find the help you need.
Prevent child gun deaths by safely storing your guns
The Be SMART framework is designed to help normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries. Learn more about Be SMART and how storing guns locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition can save children’s lives.