Grocery store aisles, high school classrooms, and concert fields — few everyday places are free of the threat of gun violence. When the right to bear arms was fiercely protected and etched into the United States’s Constitution, our Founding Fathers lacked the foresight to imagine a world where gun violence would escalate so aggressively. 

And it’s not only the public violence that’s of concern. Guns have also been used to create self-inflicted harm and harm between loved ones. 

We must keep working towards a safer world with guns, though, not just for our sake, but for our children and grandchildren.

Important Moments

For 18 hours from May 31 to June 1, 1921, a white mob used guns to attack residents, homes and businesses in a predominantly Black neighborhood during the Tulsa Race Massacre.

One of the worst mass shootings in US history claimed 49 lives at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, CNN reports.

A landmark synagogue building in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood became the site of a gun-fueled massacre, the deadliest attack on Jews on American soil, the Atlantic reports.

Mother Emanuel, founded in 1816, is one of the oldest black congregations in the South and was already culturally significant before a white supremacist terrorist targeted it, NPR says.

A teenage gunman entranced by a white supremacist ideology known as replacement theory opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, The New York Times reports.

On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman shot and killed 26 people, including 20 first graders, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, NPR reports.

Understanding the issue

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), an overwhelming 87% of Americans think gun violence threatens public health, including 77% of Republicans and 96% of Democrats.

Gun deaths surged during the pandemic’s first year, the C.D.C. reports.

Over the past decade, the Anti-Defamation League has counted about 450 U.S. murders committed by political extremists.

More than 311,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine, the Washington Post reports.

What the data says about gun deaths in the U.S., according to Pew Research.

Effects of gun violence

Studies show lasting effects of gun violence, possible interventions, CNN reports.

Gun violence is estimated to cost the American economy at least $229 billion every year, according to Mother Jones.

Even living under the threat of gun violence affects our health. According to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, the majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school.

Organizations making a difference

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.

Sandy Hook Promise trains students and adults to know the signs of gun violence so that no parent experiences the tragic, preventable loss of their child.

Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of more than 8 million moms, mayors, survivors, students, and everyday Americans working to end gun violence.


Showtime’s Active Shooter identifies mass shootings in Littleton, CO, San Bernardino, CA, Charleston, SC, and Orlando, FL considering the perspective of witnesses, victims, and families.

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida speak out against the national gun-violence epidemic after a mass shooting at their school kills 17 people in Us Kids.

The Price of Freedom provides a look at the gun violence epidemic in America and the role the National Rifle Association has played over time.


Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the two shooters who committed the Columbine High School massacre, explores the intersection between mental health and violence in this TEDx.

Attacking Urban Gun Violence acknowledges how Discussion of mass shootings often forgets the everyday gun violence epidemic which plagues our biggest cities and towns.

In How the public health approach can solve gun violence, a physician and researcher shares learned lessons about gun violence, why public health can solve it, and her personal mission.


Red, Blue, and Brady discusses current events and shares personal narratives in its exploration of America’s epidemic of firearm woundings and deaths.

Aftermath tells the stories of nine of America’s hundreds of thousands of gunshot survivors.

On Crosscut, Sen. Chris Murphy discusses the origins of gun violence in the U.S. and how the debate around this may be changing.


Nothing stops a bullet like a job. If you are looking at workforce development, which is the key to housing, safety, opportunity consider McKinsey’s suggestions

To find inner peace amidst a chaotic world, try these step-by-step exercises that’ll assist with taking you from stress, frustration, and burnout to calm from the Greater Good Science Center.

The City of Oakland has launched numerous programs to address gun violence throughout the city, and can be a model of what other cities may be able to accomplish.

Call Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) for 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals

Trans Lifeline is a toll-free crisis hotline available in the United States and in Canada for transgender people staffed by transgender people. It can be reached at 1-877-330-6366.

The Veterans Crisis Line is a 24/7, toll-free hotline that provides phone, webchat, and text options available to military veterans and their families.


Image Credits: NASA – James Webb Telescope

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When clearly America’s gun homicide rate was more than double the average for all countries, other countries have figured out that despite the gun lobby’s contrarian viewpoint, guns do kill people. Access to mental health and social support services can go a long way in helping people see other options outside of gun violence. Our only hope of combating this evil is to sow positive reforms within our communities and the world so that we can look to future generations and tell them we did all we could to create a safe world.

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