Home Local News Leaders Akbari, Camper and Sen. Yarbro focus on gun violence prevention at White House summit

Leaders Akbari, Camper and Sen. Yarbro focus on gun violence prevention at White House summit

Follows U.S. Surgeon General declaring gun violence a ‘public health crisis’

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Tenn. state Sen. Raumesh Akbari; Tenn. state Sen. Jeff Yarbro; and Tenn. state Rep. Karen Camper at the White House.

Tennessee legislative leaders discussed gun violence prevention strategies at a White House convening of more than 60 legislators from 30 states. From Tennessee, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Raumesh Akbari, House Minority Leader Rep. Karen Camper and Sen. Jeff Yarbro joined the discussion to share insights about their efforts to reduce gun violence in the Volunteer State.

“This convening is bringing together state legislative leaders who are committed to developing impactful strategies to address gun violence and ensure a safer future for all,” said Leader Akbari who was a featured panelist in a presentation about the Safer States Agenda. “President Joe Biden has taken concrete steps at the national level to safeguard our communities by reducing gun violence. But states have an important role to play in achieving real progress, and we have our work cut out for us in Tennessee.”

“I’m honored to have been invited to today’s White House meeting with state lawmakers from across the country to discuss violence prevention and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. I believe that frank discussions like these are a crucial step toward making our communities safer,” Leader Camper said. “As the Surgeon General pointed out in his report yesterday, gun violence is a plague on all of our communities across the country. I am hopeful that by collaborating with the Biden Administration and key leaders in Tennessee and other states, we can develop effective solutions that address the root causes of the gun violence epidemic and ensure the safety of all our citizens. It is imperative that we work together, across party lines, to create effective policies that protect our families and uphold our values.”

Gun violence has more than doubled in Tennessee since Republicans took control of the legislature over a decade ago and began dismantling gun safety laws. Today, gunshot wounds are the leading cause of death for children in Tennessee.

Statistics on the firearm-incident tracking site <TNUnderTheGun.com> show that there have been nearly 700 shootings in Tennessee so far in 2024 with 259 people killed, including 23 children. The number of people wounded by gunfire is 676, including 61 kids.

The summit follows the U.S. Surgeon General’s declaration that gun violence is a public health crisis. The report captures the ripple effect gun violence has on a family and the greater community.

“Beyond the profound consequences of surviving a firearm related injury, those who do not experience direct bodily harm often grapple with mental health consequences related to firearm violence exposure, including community members, children and adolescents, and families,” the report says.

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