Many people only hear about gun violence in the context of mass shootings. Americans are rightfully horrified and urgent in our call for gun violence prevention, but gun violence is about more than mass shootings – and too often, those stories can get sidelined by the media.
In the May 31 episode of “The Progressive Happy Hour,” cohost Diallo Brooks and guest host Derrick Crowe talk to Markus Batchelor, communications and program coordinator for PFAW Foundation’s YEO Network and D.C. Ward 8 State Board of Education Representative, about how we can think about gun violence and gun violence prevention more holistically.
Markus shared, “In communities like mine that are overwhelmingly folks of color and overwhelmingly impoverished, gun violence is an everyday occurrence … sometimes it’s multiple times a day.” He also emphasized that effective gun violence prevention needs to holistically address these communities’ needs: “We’ve got to tackle those root causes where they are. We know that poverty is a root cause of gun violence, so we’ve got to intentionally bring historically marginalized communities out of poverty by bolstering economic opportunity, by giving access to affordable, safe and healthy housing, to having a [quality] healthcare network.”
Markus continued, “In our classrooms and our schools, we need more mental health specialists to help families and students [who are affected by gun violence] through trauma … As a community, aside from the policy, we need to teach our young people a sense of empathy and self-worth that makes folks think twice about picking up a gun.”
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