By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
This time last year 66 people had been killed in the District of Columbia, D.C. Witness reported. In 2019 there have been 71 homicides in the nation’s capital, and according to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, 48 of them have been due to guns.
“When we look at the data around gun violence, the numbers are devastating. And what we must never forget is that behind every number is a real person, and behind every victim is a network of family and friends who are left heartbroken and traumatized,” Bowser wrote in her letter to Washingtonians on June 6.
National Gun Violence Awareness Day was June 7 and communities around Washington, D.C. and the nation wore orange, marched, protested and remembered the lives lost to barrels of guns
The mayor used National Gun Violence Awareness Day to call on lawmakers to create legislation around gun control.
“We need more from our federal government than thoughts and prayers: We need universal background checks on every gun purchase,” Bowser wrote on Twitter.
Last week, the mayor and other lawmakers called on the community to stop the violence and bring violent perpetrators to justice. She is particularly taking a stance after the tragic death of 15-year-old Maurice Scott, who was killed Memorial Day weekend headed to a convenience store in Southeast.
“I was in the tragic position of needing to call on our community to help us solve the murder of 15-year-old Maurice Scott. Maurice was a son and a brother and a beloved student and classmate. Not only did the person who shot and killed Maurice steal his life and future, they have inflicted trauma on an entire family and community, and they must be brought to justice,” the mayor wrote.
“We will never accept gun violence as normal. We will never accept children being shot while they are playing outside or walking to the corner store as normal,” she added.
The mayor said D.C. cannot wait for lawmakers to stop gun violence and its tragic effect.
“As we continue calling on the federal government to implement common-sense gun control, we must work together as a community to treat the trauma that violent crime creates, end cycles of violence and hold the perpetrators of violent crime responsible,” Bowser wrote.