Approximately 45,222 Americans died from gun-related injuries in 2020, the highest recorded number in U.S. history, according to recent CDC data. Firearms were involved in 79% of all homicides and 53% of all suicides.
The suicide rate increased most for American Indian/Alaska Native people while the homicide rate grew most for Black people.
In spite of the risk that guns pose to households, one in five American families bought a handgun during the pandemic, according to University of Chicago NORC research.
These numbers — and many more — validate the growing recognition of violence as a public health issue.
To address these alarming and growing concerns, AHCJ for the first time ever will dedicate its fall summit to covering violence with a particular focus on gun violence. “Covering violence as a public health issue: An AHCJ summit” will be held in Chicago on Oct. 27-28. Registration opens Monday.
This 1.5-day event will bring together experts and journalists to discuss a wide range of violence and public health topics including where to find the best data and research on guns and gun deaths (suicide, homicide and accidents); the gaps, go-to resources, and facts and myths about firearms and firearm ownership; extreme risk protection orders/ “red flag” laws; the role of and impact on front-line medical professionals; the health effects of exposure to chronic violence; among others.
Go behind the scenes in a tour of one of Chicago’s busiest trauma centers, where you’ll meet with trauma surgeons, violence recovery specialists and others who care for patients of all ages who’ve been affected by intentional violence.
The summit hosts are the Joyce Foundation and University of Chicago Medicine. Sponsors are the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund.
This year marks the first time since 2019, when AHCJ welcomed 102 people in Los Angeles, that the organization has hosted its fall summit in person.
“Our aim is to more firmly connect violence to public health and help reframe the stories we tend to see in relation to gun violence, which receive a lot of attention in the breaking news phase and too rarely explore the upstream causes, long-lasting impact, or interventions,” said Katherine Reed, AHCJ’s interim executive director, and director of engagement and content.
To register and for more information, visit this webpage on Monday.
Stay tuned on our social media channels and our homepage for more details and important updates.