Legislation Is Sign of Progress, but Falls Short of Addressing the Scale of Gun Violence in the U.S.
CHICAGO – This week, the Senate will vote on bipartisan legislation to address gun violence. The legislation, which is the result of years of persistent advocacy from gun violence survivors and activists, makes incremental changes to gun laws that are designed to make it harder for some people who may pose a threat to access firearms, as well as makes new investments in school safety, mental health and community-based violence prevention.
“Almost a decade after the Sandy Hook shooting and at least 350,000 lives lost to gun violence in the intervening years, the Senate has agreed on a modest proposal – but how many lives will be taken before the next incremental victory?” asked Nina Vinik, founder and executive director of Project Unloaded. “Rather than waiting for Congress to be bold, we must address this crisis now through every means possible. Far too many Americans have bought into the myth that having a gun will make them safer. The facts show otherwise: owning a gun increases the risk of dying by gun violence. To reduce gun deaths in the US, we must dismantle that myth and shift our culture away from gun ownership. More often than not, political progress works hand-in-hand with culture change.”
Project Unloaded, which launched in early 2022, is changing the cultural narrative about gun ownership and safety. The organization’s first campaign reaches young people, the majority of whom say they’re interested in gun ownership, on the social media platforms where they already spend their time to educate them on the risks of using guns. By flipping the script on gun culture and pushing back directly on the myth that more guns make us safer, the organization believes it can reduce rates of gun use and save lives.