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Supporting Change to Help End Gun Violence


Dear Colleagues,

I am sure you were as outraged as I was to hear that yet again, 18 lives were taken by firearms, most recently at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado and three Atlanta area salons. I am writing to express my sadness, my anger, and yes, my despair and frustration that we have made too little progress towards solving this major public health crisis. Indeed, in the past year we’ve seen the largest one-year increase in murders (75%-80% with firearms) in generations. Some major cities have seen the rate of gun violence double from one year to the next. And yet we are hearing the same rhetoric we have heard before with little forward movement towards lasting solutions. 

It is tempting to throw up one’s arms and say… some things will never change. But they must, and they will if we all step in and commit to action, as individuals and as members of our public health community. I reached out to our colleagues in the Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy and asked them what specific steps each of us can take to support change. They offered these concrete suggestions:

If we all commit to these actions and advocate for change by supporting organizations dedicated to public health solutions to gun violence through better firearms laws, improving neighborhood conditions, dismantling structural racism, and investing in community prevention efforts, we can make a difference.

Change is possible!

Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD ’79, ScM ’75
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Cass Crifasi, PhD ’14, MPH
Deputy Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy
Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management

Daniel Webster, ScD ’91, MPH
Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy
Bloomberg Professor of American Health
Professor, Health Policy and Management

Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins University