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Monday, July 24

NASW Social Justice Brief: Gun Violence in the American Culture

CONTRIBUTORS: Jeremy Arp, Executive Director, NASW Arizona; Rebecca Gonzales, Director of Government Relations, NASW California; Marc Herstand, Executive Director, NASW Wisconsin; and Mel Wilson, Manager, NASW Department of Social Justice and Human Rights

America has been devastated by gun violence for decades in both urban and rural communities. Recently a significant number of Americans have become concerned about the pervasiveness and almost normalization of gun violence. We can point to three examples of gun violence that have been the impetus for a movement to bring about reforms in gun ownership: the shooting of James Brady during the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in 1981, the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in 2011, and the more general increase of highly publicized gun-related mass killings between 2006 and 2017. 

The dramatic explosiveness of mass murders— especially those linked with terrorism—has captured most of our attention over the years, but as gun violence prevention advocates we should focus on the pervasiveness and demographic complexity of gun violence. This violence—in its many forms—affects every segment of the United States regardless of age, ethnicity, race, or other demographic categories.

The purpose of this brief is to look at gun violence from a public health context. We also intend to examine the problem from a social work perspective by analyzing it from a social determinant of health viewpoint related to gun violence’s psychosocial impacts on various sub-populations. 

To read the brief in full, click here

Posted on 07/24/17 at 12:43 PM

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