WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined a resolution in the Senate introduced by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) establishing June 5, 2020, as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” and designating June as “National Gun Violence Awareness Month.” U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) will introduce a companion resolution in the House.
Every day in America, an average of around 300 men, women, and children are shot, nearly one-third of them fatally. Designating a day to bring attention to the issue of gun violence honors the thousands of Americans who are victims of gun violence every year, including Hadiya Pendleton who was shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois, on January 29, 2013. Hadiya would have celebrated her 23rd birthday this June. The resolution also urges citizens and community leaders to concentrate heightened attention on gun violence during the month of June, when gun violence typically spikes at the start of the summer months, and to work together to make our communities safer.
“Gun violence kills 36,000 Americans every single year. Recognizing June as National Gun Violence Awareness Month brings us together to acknowledge the loss of each and every one of those lives. These deaths are preventable. And it’s long past time for Congress to act,” said Murphy. “I am going to keep pushing my Republican colleagues to vote on legislation to prevent gun violence that will save lives in Connecticut and across the country.”
“National Gun Violence Awareness Month reminds us of the unspeakable pain and loss caused by gun violence. The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health and economic crisis, causing tragic heartbreak and hardship, compounding the public health crisis of gun violence. We must act to address both public health emergencies,” said Blumenthal. “Thoughts and prayers must be coupled with common sense policy and swift action against the epidemic gun violence, even as we turn the tide against COVID-19. Connecticut has shown that commonsense measures – background checks, emergency risk protection orders, safe storage mandates and others – reduce crime and death. An overwhelming majority of Americans are demanding gun violence prevention and an end to the gun lobby’s grip on Congress.”
Along with Murphy, Blumenthal, Duckworth, and Durbin, U.S. Senators cosponsoring the resolution include: U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
Gun violence is an issue that affects communities in every state across the country. Each year, more than 37,500 people in America are killed and 73,300 are injured by gunfire.
A copy of today’s resolution is available here.