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WHEREAS, the rising tide of handgun violence affects all corners of our nation; and
WHEREAS, more than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in the United States with more than 30 gun homicides daily – and half of them between the ages of 18-35, one third of them under the age of 20; and
WHEREAS, homicide is the second leading cause of death among all 15 to 24 year olds and the primary cause of death among African-Americans in that age group; and
WHEREAS, in the last 50 years, more Americans have been killed by guns in their own country than all United States military personnel killed in all United States wars in the same time period; and
WHEREAS, more than 69,000 non-fatal shootings each year leave victims disabled, disfigured and in permanent pain; their communities traumatized, terrorized and suffering; and
WHEREAS, African-Americans and Latinos are being murdered and harmed by gun use at significantly higher rates than the rest of our society; while African- Americans compose roughly 12% of the United States population, they are approximately 27% of all gun-related deaths in this country; and
WHEREAS, the most recent data shows that gun homicides in the United States are more than 50 times greater than any other developed country in the world; and
WHEREAS, no other developed country allows the ease of access to guns possible in the United States; all others requiring gun purchasers to demonstrate a compelling need; all others prohibiting citizen possession of semi-automatic assault weapons; and
WHEREAS, our nation's history is replete with threats and acts of violence against our leaders; and
WHEREAS, a brief review of our nation's chronology reminds us of tragedies in the past; and
WHEREAS, town hall meetings, talk radio shows, cable TV shows and political action campaigns have heightened anxiety and increased the risk of the reoccurrence of these tragedies; and
WHEREAS, some individuals have come to public events brandishing their firearms with the intent of raising anxiety levels and creating fear and intimidation.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its 2009 position on gun violence in the United States; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP work toward ensuring the safety of all citizens in the face of public acts to intimidate; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each local unit of the NAACP is encouraged to study the issue and consider how it can directly call upon federal legislators to close the gun show loophole by supporting Senate Bill 843; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP units will stand united in challenging the culture of gun violence by actively promoting non-violence, reconciliation and peacemaking.