Violence committed or attributed to the use of a gun
Gun violence is a disaster for public health that may be avoided and affects American communities throughout. Over 100 Americans lose their lives to gun violence every day. Additionally, around 200 Americans get non-fatal gun injuries daily at the emergency room.
More than 50% of these incidents include a firearm attack, while another 37% involve accidental injuries. The overwhelming body of research demonstrates that access to and ownership of firearms are linked to increased suicide, homicide, unintentional gunshot fatalities, and injuries.
Out of 27 high-income nations, the United States has the highest gun ownership rates and deaths. Compared to other high-income nations, the United States has a firearm homicide rate of about 25 times higher and a firearm suicide rate of almost 10 times higher.
It is critical to understand that the epidemic of gun violence is far larger than gun fatalities. In addition to shooting deaths, many more persons are wounded by gunfire but recover, are fired upon but escape unharmed, or witness gun violence.
Impacts of Gun Violence
When the shooting stops, the trauma caused by gun violence continues. This public health crisis has affected people across the nation from all walks of life. Millions of Americans have witnessed an act of gun violence, been threatened with a gun, or been shot and injured during their lives.Gun violence survivors and their communities are left with long-lasting emotional, physical, legal, and financial effects. Gun violence can occur in various ways, including deliberate and inadvertent shootings, killings and attacks with firearms, domestic violence with firearms, school shootings, police shootings, and other instances.
Creating a Future Plan
There are concrete actions we can take to stop the cycle of violence and give survivors the assistance they need to be able to heal, even if there are no simple solutions to an epidemic this complicated. These are some of the things that survivors require.
Many people who have experienced gun violence report needing therapy, not just for immediate assistance but also for long-term support in order to deal with the trauma of the event. This underscores the truth of how America responds to gun violence: after a massacre, many survivors find it difficult to get the treatment they need.
Survivors, however, face financial and administrative challenges in accessing long-term treatment because mental health services are often covered by Medicaid or private medical insurance in the US.
Support groups, whether they are peer-to-peer or clinical in character, are still needed. These communities can lessen survivors’ feelings of isolation and aid in their healing by letting them know that others have gone through similar situations.
Support groups offer a place for survivors to process their experiences with others who have gone through similar circumstances, frequently with the help of a clinician with expertise in running support groups for traumatized people.
Although family members also require support, it is frequently only given to the victim or direct survivor. Parents sometimes are unsure how to explain what happened to their kids or how to use the many mechanisms present in many post-gun violence instances.
Children may suffer greatly from losing a parent or other caregiver. Programs and policies that tackle childhood hardship, improve financial assistance to families, recognize kids dealing with grief and mental health issues, and enhance family ties might be helpful.
To pay for the immediate costs of gun violence, such as medical bills, legal fees, and funeral costs, as well as makeup for missed income as they recover physically and emotionally, many survivors of gun violence report needing financial assistance.
What Needs to Be Done
People threatened by, witnessed, or suffered gun violence have their lives permanently altered. They contribute their compassion, bravery, and resiliency to the effort to prevent gun violence, and they challenge us all to do the same. But they also find the fortitude to fight to save the lives of others.
It is crucial that we provide survivors of gun violence with the tools they need to recover while also ensuring that their voices are heard in discussions about gun control in our country.
We can stop gun violence from destroying lives and communities by passing legislation to improve background checks, disarm domestic abusers, fund community violence intervention programs, and provide families and law enforcement with the tools they need to act on warning signs to protect people in crisis and stop mass shootings.