Gun violence has become a part of America's culture

A new poll shows more than half of Americans are affected by or have experienced gun violence.
Posted at 8:20 PM, Apr 11, 2023

The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, Craig Greenberg, lost a friend in the mass shooting that happened in his city Monday.  

"We're tired of acts of violence, of evil acts of gun violence, and so in the hours and days ahead, we are going to come together and support each other and love each other," he said.

It’s becoming commonplace for Americans to experience gun-related violence, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

One in 5 American adults said they have been personally threatened with a gun. Almost the same amount say they have also had a family member killed by a gun, including by suicide. Just slightly fewer people have personally seen someone get shot.

Jill Lemond was an assistant superintendent at Oxford Community Schools in Detroit during the mass shooting in 2021. 

"I've experienced gun violence, or I've been, you know, certainly in the environment where I saw the reactions and the trauma related to gun violence," Lemond said. "We're all seeing it on the news so frequently and getting desensitized to it. At the same time, we know that our students and our people are not numb to it."

The Kaiser poll found gun violence disproportionately affects people of color, with about a third of Black adults having witnessed someone being shot.

A gun confiscated from a student at a high school in Baltimore.

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"When my son was killed, and all the pain I felt, the killing didn't stop," said one Black father in Richmond, Virginia, who meets with others who have lost family members to gun violence.

"I go through my good days and my bad days," said another dad.

This year, in less than four full months, there have been 146 mass shootings, according to Gun Violence Archive.

The American Medical Association calls gun violence a "public health crisis."

"The president has called on Republicans in Congress to work together with Democrats to take action to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, to require safe storage of firearms, to require background checks for all gun sales, to eliminate gun manufacturers' immunity from liability," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. "These are common sense actions we can ask for and should be getting right now."

Kaiser also found the majority of Americans, 84%, have taken at least one precautionary measure to prevent gun violence.

As for Lemond, she now works at Evolv, a company that makes technology to detect weapons in schools.

"It was very important to me to be part of a solution ... working with schools and other places and spaces to make them safer," Lemond said.