Gun-related violence is violence committed with the use of a gun (firearm or small arm). Gun-related violence may or may not be considered criminal. Criminal violence includes homicide unless ruled justifiable, assault with a deadly weapon, and suicide, or attempted suicide, depending on jurisdiction. Gun violence is a hot topic in the United States and discussions are taking place on worldwide platforms with a focus on how to reduce unnecessary death by gun use. Children are being killed as they go to school, gang drive-by actions are killing family members and elders as they sit inside of their homes, random shootings, or prejudiced actions are taking place and guns are the weapon of choice in nightclubs, concerts, universities, and workplaces to name a few. State and federal governments must address the increase in gun violence and find a solution to the problem without ignoring the rights of citizens to own and carry guns.
Memorial to gain attention to loss of life.
A gun violence memorial project was designed and is on display in Chicago to gain attention to gun violence and need for reform, while giving victims a unique personal memorial. One of the first things visitors see as they walk through the ornate ground floor of Chicago’s landmark Cultural Center is a cluster of four glass houses. Each has 700 glass brick openings — a stark, physical reminder of the average number of people killed by guns each week in the country. Designers of the Gun Violence Memorial Project say just as the AIDS Memorial Quilt raised awareness about a deadly disease, they want their focus on victims of gunfire to bring widespread attention to what they consider another epidemic.
Each glass house contains some empty bricks, while other bricks are labeled with names, birthdays and the dates people died. The spaces hold small pieces of who they were — a hairbrush, pieces of jewelry, a photograph. People memorialized in the exhibit are of different ages and races. Some died by domestic violence, some by suicide, others in random acts of street gun violence.
Increase public awareness.
The Gun Violence Memorial closes in Chicago on Feb. 9, then heads to Washington, D.C., where in April it will be on display at the National Building Museum. The memorial’s designers say this exhibit is a work in progress and the first step in creating a national and permanent memorial to gun violence victims. In two years they hope to have an installation of glass houses memorializing gun victims on the National Mall and later a glass house in every U.S. state and territory. They want the country to see past statistics and to acknowledge the real lives claimed by gunfire.
Gun laws need to change.
Updated gun laws must address the increasing loss of life in the United States, no matter how they occur. If you have been a victim of gun violence, an attorney may be able to help you recover damages in a wrongful death action to pay for funeral expenses, medical bills, present and future financial losses and pain and suffering. If a police officer fired his gun in an attempt to pursue an alleged criminal, and accidentally caused death to a loved one, then a victim may file an excessive force police brutality action where the officer may be sued for damages as well. Contact a legal professional who has experience in police brutality cases.
Depending upon the circumstances of the loss of life to gun violence, multiple persons and entities may end up parties in legal actions to remedy losses to victims of gun violence in America. If you have lost a loved one or family member to gun violence, contact an attorney who specializes in wrongful death personal injury actions for assistance.