On March 27, the United States experienced its 130th mass shooting of 2023. The shooting occurred at a small private Christian-based school in Nashville, Tenn. The assailant had legally purchased the AR-15 style assault weapon used to kill three students and three adults.
That same day, Fresno-based Enough Gun Violence (EGV) became the first chapter of Brady United south of Stockton. EGV was formed in response to the Buffalo and Uvalde mass shootings in May 2022. EGV is an interfaith, multiracial, grassroots organization that works to eliminate gun violence.
Brady United is a national organization. Since 1974, under different names, Brady has advocated for gun safety and against gun violence. EGV will now be known as Enough Gun Violence/Brady Greater Fresno.
Mass shootings and mass killings garner much media attention. They create a strong emotional reaction from the public. However, mass shootings make up less than 1% of all gun-related deaths.1
Coroners’ reports and other statistics show the majority of gun deaths in the United States, and in Fresno, are due to gun suicide, followed closely by gun homicide. Suicides account for 54% of deaths related to firearms, whereas 43% of firearm deaths are homicides.2 States with easier access to guns have higher rates of both gun suicide and gun homicide.3
Nationwide, 53% of all suicides involve a firearm. Per the Kaiser Family Foundation, “Suicides are most prevalent among people who live in rural areas, males, American Indian or Alaska Natives, and White people, but they are rising fastest in some people of color, younger individuals and people who live in rural areas.”3
Men account for 85%–90% of gun homicide perpetrators. Men also make up almost 80% of the victims of gun homicides.4 High gun homicide rates are correlated with inequalities by race, community disinvestment, segregation and poverty.5,6,7
EGV was inspired by a statement from Dean Sam Colley-Toothaker of St. James Episcopal Cathedral at its first public meeting on June 29, 2022: “We can’t do everything, but we can do something.”
Guided by different faith traditions, the goal of EGV is to eliminate all types of gun violence in Fresno, California and the United States. EGV uses scientific data and evidence-based facts to oppose the spreading of gun violence. Since its inception, EGV has worked with agencies, other community groups and religious groups to alter the policies, practices and laws that have allowed gun violence to persist.
Following several community meetings in 2022, EGV formed three working groups to address some of the key issues regarding gun violence. The Legislation working group addresses the easy access to guns and gun safety laws, Mental Health primarily addresses gun suicide and Social Disparities addresses gun homicide.
In 2023, EGV began looking to engage with other local gun safety organizations in the Central Valley. Not finding any, the EGV leadership decided to look at joining a national organization. On March 27, EGV became a chapter of Brady United.
EGV became Enough Gun Violence/Brady Greater Fresno. As a member of Brady United, the group will have access to Brady’s greater training and outreach resources, state and national petitions, and action to help “enact common-sense solutions to end America’s gun violence epidemic.”
As a Brady 501(c)(4) chapter, Enough Gun Violence/Brady Greater Fresno is nonprofit and nonpartisan and will not endorse candidates. By addressing gun violence, the organization will continue to address policies, practices and laws to make Fresno safer.
- www.kff.org/other/issue-brief/do-states-with-easier-access-to- guns-have-more-suicide-deaths-by-firearm/
- www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7119e1.htm? s_cid=mm7119e1_w
- jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/ 2799226