Children paying the price for gun violence
Gun reform has been revisited time after time. It is time now for action to be taken. Gun violence has continued to plague Richmond’s African-American community.
According to the Virginia Department of Health Statistics, Black youths from all over the state are disproportionately affected by gun violence. The Gun Violence Archives reports 38 children have been killed by gun violence and 122 children have been injured since 2013 in Richmond.
The 2021 General Assembly passed House Bill 1992 that prohibits a person convicted of assault and battery of a family or household member from purchasing, possessing or transporting a firearm. Gov. Ralph S. Northam proposed increasing the prohibition period from three years to five years. Yet, his proposal was rejected.
Current gun laws also include the limitation of purchasing firearms, as well as efforts focused on universal background checks and the red flag law that allows authorities to take guns away from individuals who are deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
As far as prevention, stronger and additional laws are needed to protect our African-American communities. Some recommendations that should be considered are requiring gun training classes to own a gun and setting an age limit on purchasing firearms in Virginia.
Dr. Emanuel C. Harris, president of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Richmond and Vicinity, discusses the need for teaching individuals how to handle conflict differently because it so often results in gun violence.
Senseless acts of gun violence can be stopped and the lives of children and others can be saved if policies are enacted.