The Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to a shooting early this morning in West Baltimore in which one man was shot and killed and five people were shot and wounded, including a 15 year-old boy.
“We are tired of being heartbroken from the gun violence that continues to tear our communities apart — this does not need to be a hallmark of our city,” said Denise Reid, a Baltimore police chaplain and a volunteer with Moms Demand Action. Denise’s son, Tavon Terrell Waters Sr., was shot while stopped at a traffic light on October 18, 2006. He was paralyzed from the neck down, then died from his injuries on April 1, 2009 at 25-years-old.“Our lawmakers need to pass comprehensive legislation that will address the root causes of gun violence — we need sustainable investment in community violence intervention programs and for our lawmakers to work with these programs so they can meet the needs of our communities.”
While there is no one solution to end gun violence, Community Violence Intervention Programs play a key role in making cities safer. Organizations like ROCA Baltimore and Baltimore’s Safe Streets program have been working to prevent gun violence. By utilizing a public health model, community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods. While these programs are often uniquely situated to address violence in their communities, they need support from policymakers in order to sustain and expand their life-saving work. Leaders and legislators must invest in these community-driven, evidence-based interventions. More information about city gun violence is available here.
In an average year in Maryland, 796 people die by guns and 1,363 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Maryland $10.5 billion each year. More information on gun violence in Maryland is available here.