National Gun Violence Survivors Week Honors All Affected By Such Violence
This week, National Gun Violence Survivors week, Everytown for Gun Safety released a report that states early February marks the time that more Americans are killed with guns in the United States than people in other high-income countries are killed in an entire year. The report found that the U.S. gun-violence rate is ten times greater than that of other countries; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 39,000 people were shot and killed by a gun in 2017.
Jaycee Webster was one such person shot and killed in 2017. His mother, Giselle Mörch, who’s from Silver Spring, Maryland, told Supermajority News that National Gun Violence Survivors Week takes away the stigma and stereotypes surrounding gun violence in the U.S.
“When we hear about gun violence, it often focuses on certain types of gun violence, such as horrifying mass shootings,” Morch said. “But every day, one hundred Americans are shot and killed, and hundreds more are wounded. Whether it’s daily gun violence in cities, gun suicides, domestic gun homicides, or mass shootings, all gun violence leaves a lasting mark.
Gun violence prevention organization Everytown also notes that survivors of gun violence haven’t just been involved in mass attacks, but also gun suicides, domestic violence, homicides, and unintentional shootings. Take Katie Olson, the leader of the Fox Valley Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, who told local news network WBAY at a vigil in Appleton, Wisconsin, on Monday night that a high school classmate threatened her and classmates with gun violence, noting that he would “save [her] for last.” That experience “that always stuck with” her, she said
The number of Americans who are injured from gun violence every year far outnumbers those who die from that violence. Everytown reports that 100,000 people, more than 15,000 of whom are children and teens, survive a gunshot wound every year. These injuries can lead to long-term physical and emotional healing that can often result in hefty medical bills.
This is where programs that advocate for gun survivors come in. Giselle Mörch, whose son Jaycee was shot and killed in 2017, told Supermajority News that the Everytown campaign Moments That Survive “allows survivors to share their stories, builds community among gun violence survivors, and helps the public understand how everyday life changes as a result of gun violence long after the initial shock has worn off.”
She added that campaigns like “Moments,” which she has contributed to, allow for gun survivors to keep their loved ones’ legacies alive: “It’s already been three years since my son Jaycee was shot and killed, but I carry the moments and memories of our time together with me every day.”