Lawmakers must focus
on causes of gun violence
In Virginia and across the country, communities of color — especially young black men — are disproportionately affected by gun violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-Hispanic black men ages 15 to 34 are more than 20 times more likely to be murdered by a gun than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. Young black women and girls are nearly seven times more likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to be murdered by firearms. Our policymakers must do more to address this problem by passing policies supporting community programs that address the root causes of violence in communities of color. Gun violence affects community health; its impacts are compounded by poverty and systemic inequities. Addressing these inequities is essential to reducing gun violence.