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In Response to Recent Gun Violence


7/8/2016

Statement of Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding

In Response to Recent Gun Violence

The Joyce Foundation grieves for the families of the victims of this week’s tragic shootings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul and Dallas.  It is difficult to take in the enormity of these events at a time when we are still mourning the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, and of the daily gun violence that takes so many lives, especially young people of color, in Chicago and other communities across our country.

We take strength in these words, spoken by the family of Alton B. Sterling, the man killed on Tuesday by two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

“We wholeheartedly reject the reprehensible acts of violence that were perpetrated against members of the Dallas Police Department. Our hearts break for the families of the officers who were lost as they protected protesters and residents alike during a rally …. Responding to violence with violence is not the answer.”

There are many dimensions to the crisis we face in America. It is surely a crisis of spirit exemplified by a lack of empathy and compassion for others. We seem unable to walk in others’ shoes. And it is a crisis made lethal by the proliferation of guns, a situation without parallel in the world: America’s gun murder rate is more than 25 times the average of other developed countries.

We may struggle to understand the tragic events of recent weeks, but we can say with certainty that America will remain in a state of crisis until we finally and decisively confront our singular culture of gun violence. It is far too easy for those with malice in their hearts to obtain guns, including weapons intended only to kill as many people as possible.

The Joyce Foundation remains committed to reducing the toll of gun violence in all its forms through evidence-based policies and support for law enforcement and communities most impacted by gun violence.

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