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Statement from Mayor Bowser on President Biden’s Executive Actions to Address the Nation’s Gun Violence Public Health Epidemic

Thursday, April 8, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser attended President Biden’s announcement at the White House regarding initial actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to address the nation’s gun violence public health epidemic. In response to the announcement, the Mayor released the following statement:

“Many communities across the nation, including Washington, DC, continue to be burdened by two simultaneous public health emergencies. The first is the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit our Black and Latino communities the hardest. The second is the gun-related violence that continues to devastate many of those same communities. Even in 2020, when much of the country shut down for weeks at a time, deaths from gun violence reached historic levels. Americans of all backgrounds and ages are desperate for change.

“We hear all too frequently about mass shootings in cities and towns across America. But in cities like DC, every day, we are losing fathers and sons, husbands and boyfriends, mothers and daughters, and beloved community members to gun violence. Families are being destroyed when petty arguments are settled through lethal gun violence, when children are just running into the store for a snack but shot and killed on their way through the door, when a father is driving his children home and a bullet comes through his car window and takes the life of his precious baby, still strapped in his car seat. Too many Black men and boys live in fear of everyday gun violence. Too many mothers and fathers are afraid of what will happen when they let their children out of their sight.

“This is no way for our nation to live. At the root of this issue is that Americans cannot live freely if we prioritize the proliferation of firearms over the safety of Americans.

February, we launched Building Blocks DC, a comprehensive public health approach to gun violence with a first-of-its-kind Gun Violence Prevention Emergency Operations Center. As we work urgently to remove illegal guns from our streets and save the lives of Washingtonians, we also recognize the critical need for federal action. Guns know no borders nor boundaries, and the best and only way to protect Americans nationwide is through comprehensive reforms that make it less likely for an illegal firearm to land in the hands of someone willing to take another’s life.

“I applaud President Biden for taking action and for recognizing that the status quo can no longer be accepted when it comes to gun violence in our country.”