All of us should be able to feel safe and secure on streets, in our schools, at work, and in our homes. Yet too many Americans are threatened by violence every day.
Gun-related violence, in particular, represents a major threat to the health and safety of all Americans. Every day in America, 93 people die from gunshot wounds, and approximately 240 sustain gunshot injuries. In addition to the human suffering caused by these injuries and fatalities, gunshot wounds cost approximately $40 billion in medical care, public service, and work-loss costs each year.
Reducing the number of gun-related injuries and deaths must become a national priority. At the Federal level, and especially at the State and local level, we must implement comprehensive strategies that address not just the consequences of violence, but also its underlying causes.
Since 1993, as I have traveled the country as Attorney General, I have had the privilege of observing many innovative, local responses to gun violence that have been developed by police, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, mayors, school officials, and other leaders who recognized a problem, devised a solution in collaboration with other members of their community, and worked to see it implemented.
At the same time, many other communities are still looking for effective solutions to their own gun violence problems. It is my hope that this Report, Promising Strategies To Reduce Gun Violence, will provide useful answers and solutions for these communities by profiling the successful approaches that some cities and towns have already implemented.
Promising Strategies To Reduce Gun Violence is designed as a "toolbox" to provide law enforcement, State and local elected officials, prosecutors, judges, community organizations, and other policymakers with practical information about a range of strategies to reduce gun violence. Although particular programs and strategies will need to be tailored to suit local needs, I hope that the programs profiled here will provide inspiration and guidance as communities take action to create safe and healthy neighborhoods.
Ending the tragedy of gun violence will require a sustained effort at all levels of our government and society. Together, however, we will make a difference, and bring greater security and peace to America's communities.