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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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Alabama groups unite to combat gun violence

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Thursday, April 11, 2024   

Leaders from across Alabama are banding together in a united effort to combat gun violence and seek effective solutions.

Alabama has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the country, with 25 gun deaths per 100,000 residents, almost double the national average.

Nikesha Tilton, gun violence prevention leader for the group Moms Demand Action, said one key contributor is the lack of gun safety protections and programs. She outlined key areas for improvement:

"A good ecosystem has several parts," Tilton explained. "You would have community violence intervention teams that consist of street outreach workers and also having significant programs for youths."

She noted another key part missing in the state's ecosystem to reduce gun violence is collaboration among community groups. She called attention to the work of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation as an example. It has reduced homicides by 50% through its work.

To address the issues, Moms Demand Action, Faith in Action Alabama and other organizations will be hosting a summit at the Old Ship AME Zion Church today from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Highlighting the struggle for resources as a significant barrier, Tilton believes the summit will play a critical role in addressing limitations by seeking effective strategies to overcome obstacles.

"Funding, making sure that we're doing the work to have intentional relationship building," Tilton pointed out. "Those are two barriers. There's also legislation that could be put in place. "

Tilton hopes the summit will shed light on other avenues to reduce gun violence, such as mental health services, hospital intervention and victim compensation. According to Everytown Research, Alabama experiences an average of more than 1,100 gun-related deaths and more than 3,000 injuries per year.

References:  
Firearms deaths CDC 2024

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