MA Group Urges Steps to Curb Gun Violence
Friday, June 4, 2021
BOSTON -- Gun-safety advocates in Massachusetts are looking to put pressure on lawmakers to tackle the nationwide epidemic of gun violence on National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
Rina Schneur, volunteer with the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action, said while the Commonwealth has strong gun-safety laws, on topics like "ghost guns," untraceable weapons that people can assemble at home, state law still has to catch up with the technology.
Massachusetts has one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the nation, which she added is still too much.
"Those rates are still higher than any other developed country by an order of magnitude, as well as there are pockets of gun violence, specifically concentrated in some cities," Schneur contended.
In Massachusetts, Black men are disproportionately affected by firearm homicide. Black men ages 15 to 34 lose their lives to guns 22 times more often than white men of the same age, according to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. The majority of gun deaths by suicide are white men over age 75.
Between 2010 and 2019, the Commonwealth's rate of gun deaths rose by more than 10%. The rate of homicide by firearm decreased nearly 12%, but the suicide rate increased nearly 45%.
Schneur asserted it's more proof education about safe gun storage is critical.
"Way more now than 100 people are getting killed every day by gun violence in the United States; 60% of it is suicide. There is domestic gun violence; there is unintentional shooting," Schneur outlined.
Her group also advocates for federal legislation on background checks for gun purchases.
A bill before Congress would close the so-called "gun show loophole" and require background checks for all firearm sales, including those by private sellers and at gun shows.
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