June 2, 2022
Boulder County Commissioners to declare June as Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and take action to reduce gun violence
(Boulder County, Colo.) -- Like so many grieving communities across the United States, Boulder County residents and families have had their lives and hearts shattered by gun violence.
In the wake of recent horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York—and in addition to so many other tragic and preventable gun deaths, including the mass shooting at King Soopers in Boulder last spring which left 10 members of our community dead—the Board of County Commissioners is declaring June 2022 Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and taking action to prevent gun violence in our Boulder County communities.
During the month of June, the Boulder County Commissioners and other communities across the county will be considering the passage of local gun violence prevention ordinances to protect the safety of children and adults in our communities.
The Commissioners invite all community members to: participate in Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, wear orange on June 3 to help raise awareness about gun violence, support gun violence prevention measures, and honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors.
Boulder County is joining other organizations and governments across the United States in raising awareness of gun violence and is working towards the prevention of gun violence here in Boulder County. From June 3 to June 5 the Courthouse will be lit in orange in solidarity with the national movement to end gun violence.
The United States is an outlier in gun violence as compared to any of its peer nations and prevention and policy are essential to stemming the tide of violence in our communities. The U.S. ranks first in the world for firearm-related suicides and first for all firearm-related deaths among other developed nations. The U.K., Australia, Canada, and many European countries have enacted gun violence prevention policies to protect public safety. Research has demonstrated that nations and states with strong gun violence prevention policies have fewer deaths and injuries from gun violence than jurisdictions with weaker policies.
The Boulder County Commissioners are committed to preventing gun violence and have supported state legislation to prevent gun violence and death. In 2021, Boulder County supported Senate Bill 256, sponsored by Boulder County legislators Senate President Steve Fenberg and Representative Edie Hooton, which removed the restrictions that had prohibited local jurisdictions from passing gun violence prevention ordinances.
Each Commissioner views these current efforts to curtail gun violence as a continuation of a long-standing commitment that stems from their previous experience, including positions in education and in the state legislature:
I was ready to take action when Colorado suffered the nation’s first school shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. I was ready to take action when I was teaching in the classroom and participating in active shooter drills with my students. I was ready to take action when I waited to see my children at their school after a lockdown due to a gun on campus. And I am ready to take action this month as an elected official representing Boulder County, to pass ordinances that will protect the lives of children and adults in our communities.
-Commissioner Marta Loachamin
Mass shootings and suicide by gun are heartbreakingly all too common. Comprehensive gun violence prevention policy must be passed at the national level, but until Congress takes action, it is up to state and local governments to take what actions that we can to protect our communities. I helped successfully push through gun safety legislation when I served in the State Senate, and now will work to do the same at the local level.
-Commissioner Matt Jones
We know that the majority of Americans support gun violence prevention policy. We also know that gun violence is an issue of racial justice, with people of color disproportionately impacted by gun-related homicides and assaults. I was a leader on gun safety legislation and stopping efforts to relax background checks in the legislature, and I will continue to lead at the county level. With the authority counties now have, we are committed to enacting policies that will save lives.
-Commissioner Claire Levy
2022 Boulder County Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
A national coalition of organizations and governments has designated June 3, 2022, the first Friday in June, as the 8th National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
The first National Gun Violence Awareness Day was established in 2013 to help honor Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager who marched in the presidential inaugural parade and was tragically shot and killed just weeks later in a playground. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s friends commemorated her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. "Wear Orange" is now observed every June. Thousands of people wear the color orange to honor Hadiya and the more than 40,000 people who are killed with guns and approximately 85,000 who are shot and wounded every year in the United States.
The Boulder County Commissioners will sign the following Proclamation at their next business meeting honoring Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, will be considering ordinances to prevent gun violence during the month of June, and have ordered that the Downtown Historic Boulder County Courthouse (on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder) be lit in orange from Friday through Sunday, June 3-5, in honor of gun violence awareness and prevention.
WHEREAS, firearm-related deaths, are now the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the United States suffers from an epidemic of gun violence unparalleled in any other developed nation where 45,222 people died in 2020 as a result of gun use, and our nation ranks highest of all wealthy nations for gun-related deaths; and
WHEREAS, research has demonstrated that the U.S. does not have a higher prevalence of crime than other developed countries, but it does have more lethal gun violence (suicides and homicides) than all other developed nations; and
WHEREAS, suicides make up the highest proportion of deaths related to firearms, followed by homicides and accidental shootings; and
WHEREAS, data from the Centers on Disease Control demonstrate that states with tighter gun control laws have fewer deaths; and
WHEREAS, Boulder County mourns the lives of ten community members lost to the mass shooting on March 22nd, 2021 in Boulder, the recent tragic deaths of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the deaths of 10 people in Buffalo, New York, and the countless others who lose their lives to gun violence every day in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Gun violence prevention is an issue of racial justice. Black children are more than four times more likely to experience gun violence in their neighborhoods than White children. Gun violence is disproportionately prevalent in historically underfunded neighborhoods and cities.
WHEREAS, counties and cities across the nation, including Boulder County, are working to end the senseless violence with evidence-based solutions; and
WHEREAS, Boulder County’s departments are committed to supporting pro-social outcomes in our community through various programs, including, but not limited to, protecting children and adults from abuse, supporting pro-social behavior in schools, and supporting families and children throughout their lives with various resources; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Boulder County Commissioners has made a commitment to preventing gun violence, and supporting state legislation to prevent gun violence and death in the Colorado legislature; and
WHEREAS, the Colorado legislature passed Senate Bill 256 in 2021, removing the restrictions that had prohibited local jurisdictions from passing gun violence prevention ordinances to protect the safety of their communities; and
WHEREAS, the Boulder County Commissioners and other communities in Colorado are considering the passage of local gun violence prevention ordinances to protect the safety of children and adults in our communities; and
WHEREAS, all community members are invited to participate in gun violence awareness and prevention month to help raise awareness about gun violence, support gun violence prevention measures, and honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors;
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners, that June 2022, is recognized as Boulder County Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.