Gun violence examined at CDU
Panel of experts agrees, gun violence in US, a public health crisis at second National Gun Violence Day LOS ANGELES – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science hosted the second annual National Gun Violence Awareness
Panel of experts agrees, gun violence in US, a public health crisis at second National Gun Violence Day
LOS ANGELES – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science hosted the second annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day, June 1, with an on-campus event featuring community leaders working to reduce violence in L.A.County.
Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, incoming Dean of the College of Medicine at CDU and an internationally recognized public health leader known for her pioneering work addressing violence as a public health issue, moderated a conversation between Avis Ridley-Thomas, co-director of the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles, and Adrienne Lamar Snider, executive director of Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles (VPC).
“Gun violence is a public health crisis and it affects us all,” said Prothrow-Stith. “Today, CDU starts turning pain into power and anger into action. We are ready to help our community explore prevention-based solutions that will save lives. Our society needs to start doing things differently if we are going to curb gun violence.”
“Mediation throughout the community has been very effective in the de-escalation of disputes,” said Ridley-Thomas.
Lamar Snider made the point, it’s not about checking out, but checking in. “Reducing gun violence is about prevention strategies. At VPC, we have found community engagement to be effective and that’s why we work to strengthen the collective voice of advocates and survivors of gun violence,” she said. “Together, we can end the violence epidemic in Los Angeles.”
National Gun Violence Day is one of many (wearorange.org) events across the U.S., where influencers, corporations, mayors, and community organizations, converge. The color emphasis was inspired by a small group of teens at a South Side Chicago high school in 2013, who asked their classmates to honor the life of a murdered friend, Hadiya Pendleton, by wearing orange – the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves from one another mistaken for prey. The hue also reflects the value of human life.
NGV Day annually brings together a coalition of more than 200 non-profits, cultural influencers, and elected officials working to reduce gun violence in America.
This year NGV Day came on the heels of an on-campus shooting at UCLA the day before. The CDU community was also impacted by gun mayhem a month ago when alumnus Alex Anene was murdered.
“Alex’s classmates, faculty, and friends have shared that he was a passionate man, a talented writer, a poet, a critical thinker and most importantly a man who showed his love for people,” said CDC Dean Hector Balcazar of the College of Science and Health.
In 2009 and 2010, 1,141 people were gunned to death in the L.A. metropolitan area according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2000-2009, a total of 11,212 Los Angeles County residents lost their lives due to firearm-related injuries.
During 2011, the hospitalization rate due to non-fatal firearm-related injuries for Black male residents of L.A. County between the ages of 10 to 44 was 15 times higher than the rate for their White counterparts. Latino male residents of L.A. County of the same age group were 3.5 times more likely to be hospitalized for non-fatal gunshot wounds than their White counterparts.
One child or teen dies from a gun every three hours and 28 minutes. Gun violence is the second leading cause of death for children and teens between the ages of one and 19.