We share in the grief and outrage over Uvalde and Buffalo’s tragic episodes of a horrific and growing trend of mass shootings. Since these life-altering events, more mass shootings have taken place and they have barely – if at all – been acknowledged. We join in demanding that our elected leaders take action to regulate guns to prevent killings and the terror inflicted upon communities.
Gun violence is often motivated by racial animus. It is inconsistent with a vision that all of us are entitled to share in our communities without fear. America Walks advocates for safe, shared public spaces in all forms. This includes feeling safe from gun violence in our day-to-day lives.
Our mission statement is simple – we advance safe, equitable, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and move. We speak up when children are threatened by unsafe walking conditions and oversized vehicles. We speak up for Black and Brown communities that are disproportionately harmed by pretextual jaywalking stops.
Now, we feel obligated to speak up. We stand in solidarity with the communities that have lost lives to senseless gun violence, and with the advocates working for responsible gun control laws.
Gun violence at these rates is a uniquely American issue. It is epidemic and a public health crisis – and it has a real effect on walkability.
We know that people avoid physical activity not just because of their built environment, but out of fear of violence. America Walks collaborates with local advocates across the country, and we know that they care about this issue as well. We will continue to focus on issues that intersect with public health and the safety of community members as we strive for a shared vision of welcoming and safe public spaces.
While our work will continue to ensure safe public spaces, we want to offer resources for how to navigate these tragic events.