Every year, more than 30,000 Americans die by gun violence or commit suicide using a firearm. America has nearly six times the number of gun homicides as Canada, more than seven times as Sweden, and nearly 16 times as much as Germany. And although Americans make up about 4.43 percent of the world’s population, they own about 42 percent of all the world’s privately held firearms.
Across the United States, families, cities and communities are grappling with a culture of violence which is manifested by the tens of thousands killed annually by guns, including thousands in the streets, mass murders on campuses, in workplaces, homes and domestic violence perpetuated primarily against women.
For the past two years, Dr. Stephanie E. Myers, national co-chair of Black Women for Positive Change, has spearheaded what is a burgeoning national effort to combat this pervasive violence. Myers and a number of supporters kicked off the 2015 Week of Non-Violence on the steps of the Washington, D.C. City Hall.
Myers said events and activities during the week of Oct 17-25 will take place in cities as varied as Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Alexandria and Hampton Roads, VA, and St. Louis, Mo.
Benjamin L. Crump, who gained national and international prominence as the attorney for the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown – unarmed teens shot and killed by a vigilante in 2012 and a Missouri police officer last year – said Americans cannot expect to apply the same solutions and ever hope to secure a different result.