LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) recognizes Gun Violence Awareness Day by reminding everyone that gun violence is preventable, and the epidemic of gun violence is one of the most significant public health issues of current times.
In a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed June 2, 2019 as Gun Violence Awareness Day joining other jurisdictions in support of research into the causes and solutions to gun violence including policy change at the federal level.
“Gun violence destroys the fabric of communities, and grieving families are left mourning the loss of a loved one. Gun violence is a public health risk that has mushroomed over the last few decades to become an epidemic, with studies showing that 100 Americans were killed with guns every day between the 2013 and 2017. We must support research into the causes and solutions to gun violence and press for meaningful gun control laws at the federal level to help end gun violence,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.
“Violence in all forms is unacceptable but gun violence in particular is an issue of grave concern given its lethality and the daily toll we see in the lives of victims and their family and friends, and in society overall,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "Efforts are needed at all levels to address the scourge of gun violence and to create communities where everyone feels safe and can thrive."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Fatal Injury Report, 100 Americans are killed with guns every day. Additionally, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, firearms accounted for an estimated 74% of homicides and 32% of suicides across the county in 2018. The firearm homicide rate was highest among Blacks with 14.8 deaths per 100,000 residents, a rate over three times higher than the overall county rate of 4.4 per 100,000. By comparison, among the firearm suicides, nearly two-thirds of the victims were White (64%). The firearm suicide rate was highest among Whites (6.7 per 100,000), a rate more than twice the overall county rate of 3.0 per 100,000.
Outrage over the major toll of gun violence has grown in recent years, as reflected in the leading role youth have played throughout the nation in organizing large demonstrations against firearms. The LA County Board of Supervisors took a decisive step this year in expanding local infrastructure to prevent violence when they unanimously approved the establishment of a County Office of Violence Prevention. The Board placed the Office within Public Health in recognition that violence is a significant public health issue, requiring a multi-sector, prevention-oriented response. The Office works with County departments and initiatives to ensure an integrated and comprehensive approach to addressing all forms of violence.
Additionally, Public Health continues to support strategies that work to prevent gun violence like:
Investing in comprehensive, place-based violence prevention programs and initiatives that include multi-sector collaboration such as the Trauma Prevention Initiative (TPI)
Supporting community driven safety solutions to break the cycle of violence, such as investing in peer-based community violence intervention, and hospital-based violence intervention
Reducing the imminent risk of death and disability through sensible gun laws and a culture of safety.
For more information and to participate in Gun Violence Awareness Day activities, visit:
Louder Than Guns LA:https://www.louderthanguns.org
Everytown for Gun Safety: http://everytown.wecanendgunviolence.org
Prevention Institute: https://www.preventioninstitute.org/focus-areas/preventing-violence-and-reducing-injury/preventing-violence-advocacy"
For more information on the Office of Violence Prevention, visit:www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ivpp/ovp.htm
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of over 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,100 employees and has an annual budget of $1 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lapublichealth, instagram.com /lapublichealth, facebook.com/lapublichealth and youtube.com/Lapublichealth.