Congressman Steven Horsford and Senator Cory Booker Introduce Legislation to Break the Cycle of Gun Violence
Washington, D.C. — On Wednesday, October 16, 2019, Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced bicameral legislation in the House and Senate to end the cycle of gun violence that persists across the country. Each year, there are over 12,000 gun deaths and 67,000 gun assaults in the U.S. — the Break the Cycle of Violence Act will allow communities to create violence intervention programs to curb this ever-growing number.
“The gun violence epidemic takes the lives of far too many people in our community. But the most tragic part? These deaths are preventable—and this bill is an important step forward to get ahead of this senseless violence; to allow folks to come together and stem this cruelty in their communities,” said Congressman Horsford. “In the wake of the 1 October tragedy, it is my mission to ensure Nevadans never have to feel that same horror and grief and to prevent daily gun violence. With this bill, Nevadans will be able to reach young people at the highest risk for violence or those who have been impacted by gun violence previously, and stop this cycle in its tracks.”
“Often when we talk about gun violence, the discussion focuses on deadly mass shootings, but in my neighborhood in Newark and urban cities across the country people are experiencing this on a daily basis,” Senator Booker said. “The epidemic of everyday gun violence that is ravaging our urban communities has been overlooked for too long, even as many neighborhoods have gun injury rates similar to warzones. It’s going to take bold, innovative, and smart ideas to tackle this challenge and keep our cities safe. This means investing federal resources in community-based violence intervention and prevention programs, which have been proven to reduce gun violence. It’s time we take action, confront this crisis, and implement solutions that work.”
Research has shown that a combination of community-oriented intervention programs can reduce gun violence rates in urban cities in half in as little as two years. In our nation’s urban centers, homicide rates are nearly 10 times the national average and have a disproportionate impact on young people of color. In fact, black men, who make up just 6 percent of the U.S. population, account for 51 percent of all homicide victims.
In 2017, Nevada had a higher gun homicide rate than two-thirds of the country, and data indicates that this violence is on the rise. Las Vegas and North Las Vegas both suffer from elevated homicide rates and a pattern of concentrated violence that could be mitigated through evidence-based violence intervention programs.