Nearly 30,000 American lives are lost to gun violence each year—a number far higher than in any other developed country. Since 1963, more Americans died by gunfire than perished in combat in the whole of the 20th century.
The impact goes far beyond the dead and injured. Gun violence reaches across borders and jurisdictions and compromises the safety of everyone along the way. No other industrialized country suffers as many gun fatalities and injuries as the United States. And no community or person in America is immune.
Law enforcement understands and embraces its leadership role in combating gun violence. When Federal Bureau of Investigation data for 2006 showed gun violence rates rising for the second year in a row with many Midwest cities leading the trend, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) convened law enforcement leaders and others concerned with gun violence from around the Midwest in Chicago in April 2007 at the Great Lakes Summit on Gun Violence, with support from the Joyce Foundation. Attendees reviewed the research, listened to experts, shared information and worked hand in hand to draft recommendations. This report comes from a regional group, but addresses a national problem, and it demands national attention.