Global Week of Action against Gun Violence

Vigils 5 and 12 July 2023

Guns should be Destroyed – not Re-used

Worldwide, a thousand people die every day from gunshots, and three times as many are severely injured. Spinal cords severed, bones shattered, families destroyed, hearts broken. There have been around 130 mass shootings in the US so far in 2023. In the UK, there were 8,299 offences involving firearms, resulting in 30 deaths and 1,635 injuries between 2020 – 2021

Almost all guns are bought and sold, owned and used by men, and guns kill and injure more men than women. But women suffer heavy consequences from the presence of guns in their homes, communities and countries.

  • Guns exacerbate the threat to women of male sexual violence in war and peace;
  • A gun in the house increases the chance of domestic violence being lethal;
  • Guns do not have to be fired to cause harm, they can be used to threaten and intimidate;
  • Women shoulder support and care when male relatives are killed or disabled by gun violence;
  • Women suffer ‘indirect’ negative impacts from gun crime, eg: stress on social and public services;
  • The USA, Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala and Belize have the highest numbers of gun deaths and crimes related to guns. In each case, the guns have been supplied by the USA.
  • The failure to decommission guns after war impedes the transition to a secure everyday life;
  • Widespread gun ownership by men and boys conditions society to mistakenly regard violence as a natural and necessary element of masculinity.

According the Small Arms Survey, over one billion Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) are circulating worldwide, causing the death of hundreds of thousands people every year.

Women in Black hold vigils every Wednesday between 6-7 pm at the Edith Cavell Statue, opposite the door of the National Portrait Gallery, St.Martin’s Place, London WC2. Our vigils are silent, women-only and if possible we wear black. We welcome all women who support our call for an end to militarism and war.

Contact us: Twitter @WIB_London

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