Harrisburg − June 20, 2017 − Officially introduced as SR 148, Senator Haywood’s resolution to recognize June as “Gun Violence Awareness” month in the commonwealth aims to bring continued understanding of, and spark legislative action against, the gun violence epidemic in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation:
“I ask us all to shine a light on gun violence and gun safety as a public health issue in cities, suburbs, and rural communities. We lose an average of eighty-eight Americans to gun violence each day, and eight of those killed each day are children. Our commonwealth suffers from unrelenting sadness as gun violence claims the lives of neighbors, friends and family members.
The United States ranks 12th in gun deaths per capita. In fact, we are just behind Burundi, a war-torn African country that the US State Department warns Americans against traveling to. American children are sixteen times more likely to be killed in an unintentional shooting than children in other developed countries. Among countries comparable in life expectancy, GDP and education, we are an extreme outlier. These tragedies are an unacceptable threat to our public health, and we must do our part to foster the discussion between citizens and community leaders on how we can make our neighborhoods safer.
We must remain vigilant regarding this public health concern, particularly during the summer months, when an escalation in gun violence is often seen. As citizens of this Commonwealth, we have the responsibility to commemorate the lives lost to gun violence. I believe that increased awareness will allow us all to understand this epidemic and start a constructive, bipartisan conversation on how to address it.”