GREATER LANDOVER, Md. — June 1 marks the beginning of Gun Violence Awareness Month. The month was started to bring more attention to the ever-growing problem and hopefully save lives.
There have been 239 mass shootings already this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. We’re outpacing 2019, which had a total of 417. And even with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there were even more in 2020 – at 610.
On Tuesday, Prince George’s County will host a public safety and gun violence prevention rally in Landover, Md. The event is called Our streets, Our future. It’ll be at the City of Praise Ministries on Jericho City Drive. The event is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm.
It’s a call to action by Prince George’s County State’s Attorney, Aisha Braveboy for the community to help tackle the growing violence problem. The county releases quarterly data every year, there were 33 murders in the county in the first quarter. That’s nearly double the number we saw last year at the same time.
Braveboy said the uptick in gun violence is more than concerning and she wants people living in and around the county to take a stand with her.
"It is unacceptable. We will hold those who commit these terrible acts accountable, but we also want to prevent these crimes from occurring in the first place. We're sending a strong message that those who commit violent acts will be arrested, will be prosecuted, and we will seek as stiff and appropriate punishments. However, we also want to show people that there's another path," Braveboy said.
The county is also beginning a new mentorship program throughout the county and will be recruiting a thousand volunteers for that effort.
If you register for the event in advance, they will give you an orange shirt to wear at the rally once you arrive. During gun violence awareness month – orange is the color they want people to wear to raise awareness.