National Gun Violence Survivors Week
To honor those personally impacted by gun violence and mark the start of the fourth annual National Gun Violence Survivors Week taking place February 1-7, Mayor Hart announced today that he has joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national nonpartisan coalition of more than 1,000 current and former mayors committed to ending gun violence in communities across America. These leaders implement and advocate for life-saving gun safety reforms from local programs and municipal ordinances to local, state, and federal legislation. While their backgrounds may differ, they speak with one voice – united against gun violence for the sake of saving lives.
“We have seen the devastating consequences of gun related violence in testimonies from the affected families of victims, the tremendous psychological toll it takes on a community, and the often overlooked wellness impacts upon our brave law enforcement officers. In short, we are all stakeholders, and every shooting, is an attack on the entire community. They are heinous acts that should raise the collective expectation that we all have roles to play in preventing needless violence,” stated Mayor Hart.
By early February, more people are killed with guns in the United States than are killed with guns in any other high-income country in an entire year. And millions more are shot and wounded, threatened with a gun, or witness an act of gun violence. The gun death rate in the United States is 11 times that of our peer countries. National Gun Violence Survivors Week is a time to share and amplify the stories and voices of gun violence survivors who live with the impact of gun violence every day.
“In the City of Waterloo, we specifically target those who facilitate the proliferation of illegal firearms,” said Chief Fitzgerald, Waterloo Chief of Police. “While some jurisdictions removed plain clothes units, we doubled down, creating a 2020 partnership with the U.S. Marshals Service, and continuing to work with the FBI, ATF, and US Attorney’s Office. We seized 244 firearms in 2021 and have already seized 23 in 2022; numbers like these reflect only a fraction of those that made it to the street illegally.
The WPD supports this effort by America’s Mayors, because without a unified front at the local level, we will continue to see families shattered. “
As a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Mayor Hart is committed to reducing gun violence in Waterloo. Mayor Hart pledges to do all they can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands and encourage responsible gun ownership to keep the community safe.
The centerpiece of Gun Violence Survivors Week is Moments That Survive, a year-round digital storytelling site and campaign in which Americans across the country share defining details of their experiences, in their own words. Moments That Survive builds community among gun violence survivors and helps the public understand how everyday life changes as a result of gun violence. All told, 58 percent of American adults, including 68 percent of Black and Latinx Americans, are survivors of gun violence, either experiencing gun violence themselves or caring for someone who has experienced gun violence in their lifetime.
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors of major American cities to more than 1,000 current and former mayors. The nonpartisan coalition has united mayors, gun violence survivors and everyday Americans around these common goals: advancing enforcement and data collection strategies to prevent gun violence; investing in survivor services and violence intervention programs to address gun violence; and advocating for gun safety legislation at the local, state, and federal level. Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a joint program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with over eight million supporters and more than 375,000 donors. Learn more at mayors.everytown.org