In many ways, Vermont is a safe state. AND...
...that sadly does not translate into safety for everyone.
- Vermont consistently has higher a higher rate of domestic violence than the national average. 50% of domestic violence homicides are committed using guns.
- Vermont's suicide rate is also higher than the national average. Among suicides, guns account for 55% of deaths. Boys and men are far more likely than girls or women to use a gun to attempt suicide.
- Vermonters who served in the armed forces represent 20% of all suicide deaths in the state.
- Access to a gun makes it 5 times more likely that a male abuser will kill his female victim.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Education, advocacy, and strong laws can help keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Keeping guns out of the wrong hands can save lives.
Thank you to everyone who attended the 6/11 March for Our Lives rally in Montpelier. We are grateful to our speakers and partners at Moms Demand Action.
STATEMENT FROM GUNSENSE VERMONT
ON THE ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING
Today we mourn the deaths of 19 children and 2 teachers in Uvalde, Texas. It was the deadliest school shooting in the state’s history, nearly the worst in U.S. history, and it was the second mass shooting in America this week. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families that lost their children yesterday and to the communities reeling from senseless and unfathomable loss.
A horror like yesterday’s massacre brings the reality of gun violence to our hearts and minds in technicolor. But it is not just yesterday or last week. Our hearts break for the 110 people who lost their lives to gun violence each day in 2020- the majority of them Black and Brown young men. We grieve for those families and neighborhoods as well.
In our gun-obsessed culture, we have prioritized the right to have unfettered access to firearms over the lives of our own children. We no longer live in a free country - freedom is the expectation that you can send your kids to school, or the store or down the block and know that they’ll return home safely each day. Today, no parent in America has that certainty.
This is not normal. It does not have to be this way. No other developed country comes close to this level of gun violence. And no other country comes close to allowing guns to be purchased and carried with as few restrictions as this country does.
What will be the result of 19 more innocent children shot dead in their classrooms? The answer will be not nearly enough unless we finally hold our elected leaders accountable and demand change. Each and every one of us has a part to play in ending gun violence and the only way to honor these victims is through actions, not words.
Robb Elementary School could be any school in Vermont. Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo could be your local grocery store. The time for passive activism is over. All of us are responsible for taking action and demanding change.
Issued by the Boards of Directors
GunSense VT and GunSense Education Fund
May 25, 2022
MAKE VERMONT SAFER FOR EVERY VERMONTER with a donation to the general fund
GunSense Vermont is Vermont's only independent, non-partisan gun violence prevention group. We are a movement of Vermonters focusing on transformation at the state level, because that is where laws are being changed and individual action has the most impact.