Gun violence is unequivocally a public health and safety issue in the United States; from 2009-2014, there were over 74,000annual emergency department visits for firearm injuries. In 2019, more than 40,000 Americans died from firearms and over 150,000 more were injured – more than HIV or car accidents.
Massachusetts has some of the most effective gun violence prevention laws in the country – laws that make it harder for kids and dangerous individuals to obtain firearms without detection by law enforcement. Because of these laws, in 2020, Massachusetts had the lowest gun death rate per 100,000 individuals of any state in the country.
Despite this progress, over 60% of firearms used in crimes in Boston originate from out of state, where guns are purchased without background check or licensing requirements. As a result, gun violence remains a preventable threat to Boston which requires a comprehensive and community-focused intervention. Fatal shootings in Boston spiked by 58% and non-fatal shootings by 38% during 2020. More recently, as of November 2020, 261 individuals were victims of firearm-related injury and over 400 firearm-related arrests were on the books. Just this year, Boston has already seen 14 homicides, 48 shootings as of late April, and gun arrests have jumped 32%.
As an ER Physician at New England’s busiest and biggest trauma center, Jon knows first hand how prevalent and dangerous gun violence is – because these are his patients and his neighbors.
Jon has long been an advocate for gun violence prevention and has the strongest record in this race. As an ER physician, Jon has personally treated hundreds of victims of violence, saving countless lives. Additionally, Jon has a strong record as a state representative. Jon has filed multiple pieces of legislation aimed at reducing the illicit trafficking of guns, addressing racial inequities, and treating gun violence as a health issue. Jon has voted to fund critical programs that address the intersection of youth and gun violence, including co-sponsoring and supporting the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative during every single budget cycle in the legislature.
However, gun violence continues to harm our city because for too many of our residents it’s easier to access a gun than a job. We see the disproportionate consequences play out daily, taking the lives of our Black and Latino youth in our most underserved communities. Black and Latinx young men living in urban neighborhoods are disproportionately impacted by this tragic violence—almost 75% of America’s 14,542 gun homicide victims in 2017 were either Black or Latinx, and nearly 85% were male. Jon is running for mayor to change that paradigm and advance racial, economic, and social justice. As mayor, Jon will:
- Recognize that gun violence is a public health issue.
- Address the achievement gap and ending the school to prison pipeline.
- Expand employment opportunities.
- Address the mental health crisis to prevent suicide.
- Listen to and partner with community leaders.
- Increase investment in programs that focus on social intervention, mentoring, conflict mediation, and community member engagement.
- Enhance hospital-based violence intervention and trauma-informed programs.
- Expand youth programming to provide educational, extracurricular, or community focused programming.
- Ensure public safety.
- Identify high likelihood of gun violence hot spots and use data to guide police deployment.
- Stop the Flow of Illegal Guns.
- Establish a Regional Gun Violence and Illicit Drug Task Force.
- Collaborate with state and federal partners to disrupt the flow of illegal guns.
- Collect and analyze firearm data.