Congress must commit to funding community violence prevention, as US sees wave of gun violence from coast to coast

Ahead of President Biden’s visit to Buffalo, New York and responding to this weekend’s mass shootings across the country, Ernest Coverson, End Gun Violence Campaign Manager at Amnesty International USA, said:

“Tomorrow, President Biden arrives in Buffalo, New York as the community mourns the murder of 10 of its residents. Americans should not have to wonder if they will be killed while grocery shopping, or in any other part of their lives. In the span of 48 hours, the United States saw 312 incidents of gun violence – from Laguna Woods, to Chicago, to Milwaukee and beyond – resulting in the deaths of 127 people and wounding a further 294 people. Every single life lost, every single survivor of gun violence marks a profound failure of the U.S. government and leadership to protect its own people.

“We must be clear-eyed in our shared understanding of the facts: white supremacists have fed a narrative of replacement theory, a pernicious and dangerous view that is propagated by some U.S. politicians, political commentators, and journalists. What took place this weekend in Buffalo was racism, antisemitism, and bigotry. We must all stand united in understanding the forces that have brought the United States to this dangerous juncture.

“Speeches alone are not enough. Unfortunately, there will be another Buffalo and more weekends of violence – it’s not a matter of “if,” but when. Right now, Congress has the ability to pass the Break the Cycle of Violence Act (H.R. 4118, S. 2275), which would provide $5 billion in funding for community violence prevention and intervention programs across the country. In city after city, these programs save lives and lower the number of gun homicides by nearly 50%. This legislation alone is not a solution, but it’s a start to rebuilding safety in affected communities. This moment requires more than thoughts and prayers, it requires leadership. The United States has compromised credibility to advance human rights globally while it tolerates systemic racism and violence stoked by racial hatred at home.

“We remain committed and in solidarity with the families affected by this weekend’s violence.”