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Reaffirming the Need to Make Communities Smart and Safe Through Violence Reduction

WHEREAS, violence and acts of crime involving the use of firearms, resulting in the murder of innocent men, women, senior citizens, and children pose a public health hazard in the African-American and other communities throughout our Nation; and 

WHEREAS, the absence of federal data involving gun violence has prevented holistic, public health-based interventions to address the use of firearms with data-driven insights; and

WHEREAS, according to a January 12, 2022 Time Magazine article entitled "Violent Crime in the U.S. Is Surging. But We Know What to Do About It," violence in America has continued to grow by record numbers; and

WHEREAS, over ten major cities across our Nation lost historic numbers of residents to murder last year with homicides rising by 7 percent in 2021 and by 29 percent in 2022 (77 percent of 2022 homicides involving firearms) and fatal shootings increasing in the largest U.S. cities by 80 percent since 2014; and  

WHEREAS, the underlying causes of violent crimes such as racism and oppression manifest themselves in high unemployment rates, drug addiction, the breakdown of the family, and an unjust criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, the correctional system further perpetuates violence, corruption, and crime, and should be reformed to focus on harm reduction and restorative justice; and

WHEREAS, according to the Violence Policy Center, for the year 2016, Black people represented 13 percent of the Nation's population, yet accounted for 51 percent of all homicide victims; and

WHEREAS, the 1996 Dickey Amendment mandated that "none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control" acting as an intimidation tactic that paused research and progress on the issue of gun violence and violent crime for nearly 20 years; and 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP, reaffirms its 2010 Resolution to help our communities become smarter and safer through a diverse set of violence reduction strategies and programs.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP calls for the collection of data by local and state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to quantify the effect of gun violence and other violent crime as a public health issue.

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