Gun Violence Prevention Resources
This repository of local and nationally-focused gun violence prevention resources is not comprehensive, however this is our goal. In order to do so, we invite all those with resource recommendations to share them with us. We will carefully and collectively review each resource before adding them to the list below.
In forming this list of resources, we recognize that the tragedy inflicted by gun violence is not isolated to mass shootings.
60% of all gun deaths in America are suicides and here in Colorado, the firearm suicide rate exceeds the national average with a rate of 76%. When we look at where firearm suicides occur, nationally we find that the rate of firearm suicide in rural communities is more than double the rate in urban communities. In January of this year, Colorado Health Institute reported that between 2014 and 2019, rural counties experienced a firearm-involved suicide rate of 15.5 per 100,000 people compared to urban counties’ average of 11.9 per 100,000. Additionally, deaths by suicide in rural areas were more likely to involve a firearm compared to urban areas.
When we look at race and gun violence in America,
we see an epidemic that is experienced disproportionately by Black Americans, who are two times more likely than white people to die by guns and 10 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide nationally. Here in Colorado, gun violence among Denver youth increased in 2019 and 2020, with the percentage of Denver gun homicide victims younger than 20 years old rising to 17% in 2019. Of those Denver youth who are victims of crime involving guns, Black and Latinos make up 74% despite making up 57% of Denver’s youth population.
With these jarring realities in mind, we aim for this repository to include resources that address suicide prevention in both rural and urban communities of Colorado, identify and address risk and protective factors in preventing gun violence in communities and share ideas for prevention strategies.
Analogy of Car Crashes: “Data on gun violence would save lives – just like it has for car crashes.”
Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, is a practicing emergency physician and researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine where she directs the Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative. She also co-founded the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition and gave a TEDx talk on firearm suicide prevention. Her opinion piece, “Data on gun violence would save lives – just like it has for car crashes” discusses the need for a combination of approaches to addressing gun violence prevention through education, engineering, enactment and research and evaluation of policies.
Colorado Ceasefire works to reduce gun violence in Colorado by raising awareness about the dangers of gun violence in our homes and communities through legislative advocacy, education and outreach.
Colorado Crisis Services
Colorado Crisis Services is the statewide behavioral health crisis response system offering residents mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals. Its mission is to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system by providing Coloradans with greater access to crisis services wherever they are at, 24/7/365, and regardless of ability to pay.
House Bill 21-1299
Signed by Governor Polis on June 19, 2021, HB21-1299 establishes the office of gun violence prevention (office) within the department of public health and environment to coordinate and promote effective efforts to reduce gun violence. The office is required to conduct public awareness campaigns to educate the general public about state and federal laws and existing resources relating to gun violence prevention.
Youth Violence Prevention Action Table
2020 Comprehensive Plan
Convened in 2019 under the leadership of Denver City Attorney Kristin M. Bronson, the Youth Violence Prevention Action Table increases communication and information sharing among city agencies, community organizations, and youth to address gaps and opportunities where the city can increase support. Additionally, the Action Table was tasked with developing a public health approach to youth violence prevention in a set of strategies outlined in a December 2020 report.
Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative
The Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative works to coordinate, synergize and stimulate collaborative approaches to firearm injury prevention in Colorado and nationally. The initiative aims to be identified as a model of collaboration and neutral (nonpolitical, nonjudgmental) hub of information, deliver outstanding education with rigorous evaluation to demonstrate impact and pursues action-oriented, innovative research to develop and disseminate effective, acceptable interventions.
Youth Violence Prevention Center – Denver
The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) leads the Youth Violence Prevention Center – Denver (YVPC-D) and partners with local community organizations in the Montbello and Park Hill neighborhoods of Denver, Colorado, to prevent youth violence. YVPC-D utilizes the Communities That Care (CTC) model, an evidence-based process that engages and mobilizes local communities to make data-driven decisions to address critical issues in the community.
Heavy Hands Heavy Heart Center
Founded by Lumumba Sayers Sr., Heavy Hands Heavy Heart Center is a boxing, MMA, fitness and community center in Aurora working to curb youth violence and help kids find an alternative to street gangs. In addition to boxing and MMA classes, the community center offers a computer lab, game room and a church service each Sunday, among other things.
Everytown is a nonprofit organization which advocates for gun control and against gun violence. As the largest gun violence prevention organization in America, Everytown works to support and educate communities and decision-makers about gun violence; taking action through enacting and implementing smart gun policies, electing gun sense candidates, demanding accountability and advocating for safety reforms locally and nationally; and build a movement through grassroots organizing in every state, demanding action from elected officials and creating a community of support.
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) is a 501(c)(3) affiliate organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. They use a public health and equity lens to identify and implement evidence-based policy solutions and programs to reduce gun violence in all its forms, seeking to make gun violence rare and abnormal.
Brady: United Against Gun Violence
Brady: United Against Gun Violence is an American nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and against gun violence. Their programs focus on ending family fire and responsible gun ownership; reducing gun violence in impacted communities by stemming the flow of crime guns to those areas; educating and mobilizing American youth in the fight against gun violence; Brady’s Legal Alliance formed to challenge the gun lobby in courts across America; uniting veterans in support of common-sense measures to reduce gun violence, including firearm suicides; and focusing on democracy reform issues.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV)
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms. An affiliate organization of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, CSGV believes gun violence should be rare and abnormal. They pursue this goal through policy development, advocacy, community engagement, and effective training.
Prevention Institute’s mission is to build prevention and health equity into key policies and actions at the federal, state, local, and organizational level to ensure that the places where all people live, work, learn and play foster health, safety and wellbeing. The Prevention Institute’s summary of recommendations for gun violence prevention address the immediate risks related to guns in addition to the underlying contributors to gun violence and the prevention infrastructure needed to ensure effectiveness.
Proceedings from the Medical Summit on Firearm Injury Prevention: A Public Health Approach to Reduce Death and Disability in the US
In February of 2019, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) convened leaders from 44 major medical and injury prevention organizations and the American Bar Association with the goal of building consensus around opportunities to work together to address the growing problem of firearm injury and death in the US. In this summary of proceeding, leaders discussed an approach to gun violence prevention that centers on addressing firearm injury as a medical and public health problem, not a political problem; developing research agendas to understand and address root causes of violence; and committing to a professional and civil dialogue centered on how best to reduce and prevent firearm injury, death, and disability. This mirrors the public health model that has been so effective in improving outcomes in traffic-related injury.