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Gun Violence in Our Communities

ACLU-SC Pasadena/Foothills Chapter Examines the Effects Rampant Gun Violence Has on Local Neighborhoods

Los Angeles -- 5 March 2013: As the nation grapples with the issue of gun violence and making the nation a safer place, an upcoming ACLU-SC Pasadena/Foothills Chapter bimonthly public forum on March 12th will discuss the effects rampant gun violence has had in our communities.

Consider these grim statistics from recent years gathered by Women Against Gun Violence:

  • In 2007, a total of 989 residents of Los Angeles County lost their lives to guns.
  • 79.3% of homicides in LA County were committed with a firearm (677 out of 854).
  • 74% of homicides (1,807 out of 2,444) and 41% of suicides (1,363 out of 3,343) were committed with a firearm in California. 
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  • LA County trauma centers treated 2,504 victims of firearm injuries for a total treatment cost of more than $149 million and an average charge of $59,712 per visit.

Panelists will include author, columnist, and scholar Anthony Asadullah Samad and ACLU-Southern California staff lawyer David Sapp , whose work focuses on education and juvenile justice issues.

“The ACLU encourages decision makers to carefully examine any proposed legislative solutions to ensure that they will not lead to unintended consequences that improperly restrict civil rights and liberties,” says David Sapp. “The ACLU is concerned about the increased policing and over-criminalization of young people, the presence of police officers in schools does not improve school safety and undermines the school’s climate.”

"The gun control discussion is more than a safety conversation, or an infringement of rights discussion," says Dr. Samad. "Xenophobia and social instability contribute to the resistance to ban military weaponry. We are so focused on militarism internationally that we don't realize that there is a subtle militarism occurring domestically, driving our hysteria around guns and weapons we must begin to discuss outwardly."

What: ACLU-SC Pasadena-Foothills Chapter Public Forum
When: Tuesday, March 12, 7 p.m.
Where: Neighborhood Church. 301 N. Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena

The event is free and open to the public. For more info, see contact Sharon Kyle, Communications Chair, ACLU-SC Pasadena/Foothills Chapter, aclupasadena@yahoo or 213.434.4643.