Responding to Gun Violence in Uvalde, Texas and Nationwide

NCFR and its members mourn the loss of innocent lives from recent mass shootings, most notably in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York, and now in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A troubling truth left in the wake of these tragedies is that they do not stand alone. While some recent shootings have been driven by racism and hate, others have no clear motivation. What they all share is a community left with grief and suffering.  

NCFR calls upon its members, and all family researchers and practitioners, to share and utilize the resources detailed below. As professionals who work to understand and strengthen families, we are in unique position to prevent similar tragedies and help families affected cope with the aftermath.

 

Public Policy Recommendations to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic

NCFR’s family health impact analysis of current U.S. gun policy provides six recommendations for policymakers to address the public health crisis of gun violence, including:

  • Develop both national and community-specific awareness campaigns that would alert families to the evidence-based, individual-level risk factors for gun violence.
  • Adopt state- and federal-level policies that restrict the purchase or possession of guns by persons whose actions represent identifiable risk factors for violence.
  • Expand implementation of gun violence restraining order laws which allow family members and intimate partners to petition for temporary removal of guns from an individual with significant, evidence-based risk factors for causing harm to self or others.
  • Adopt and streamline universal background checks at the national level.

Read the full policy brief, A Family Health Impact Analysis of Current United States Gun Policy by NCFR members Deirdre A. Quinn, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.Litt. and Samuel H. Allen, Ph.D.

Share this policy brief with policymakers at all levels. It is important that those making decisions about gun policy be aware of the family research and consult with family professionals when developing new violence legislation.

 

Understanding Gun Violence from a Family Perspective

NCFR called upon its members and Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE) to create original articles to aid in the understanding and prevention of gun violence from a family perspective. Articles open to the public in this collection include:

 

Resources to Cope in the Aftermath of Violence

Finally, for those who work directly with families, NCFR has curated collections of practical resources from reputable organizations to help individuals and families cope in the aftermath of mass shootings, and incidents of violence, hate, and racism:

 

Once again, we ask that you please share and utilize these resources, especially our policy brief on U.S. gun violence.

Mass shootings have only continued to increase in the U.S., with an average of 11 shootings a week, as of May 15, 2022, up from an average of 10 shootings a week in 2021. A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which “four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.” Since the tragedy in Uvalde, there have been 20 more mass shootings in the U.S. as of June 1.

There is much work to be done to reduce U.S. gun violence. To mitigate these impacts, direct political advocacy must be multifaceted, informed by research, include programmatic interventions, and be conducted through a lens of equity.

Thank you for your commitment and work with the families and individuals to support their well-being, growth, and advancement. Together, our shared dedication to families supports the immediate and larger community in these troubling times.