In the current national debate over gun control, the aspect that is not receiving enough attention is what may be the root cause of gun violence in most black communities -- concentrated poverty. Opportunities for vocational, educational, and emotional development need to be expanded to enable black males in concentrated poverty to thrive.
- Based on trends in homicide rates, use of firearms, and population growth, it is projected that 68,631 black males will be killed by firearms between now and 2025.
- Homicides are concentrated in cities that have concentrated poverty or pockets of high poverty within them.
- Investments in youth, including in education and employment training, have declined significantly over the past few decades and contributed to higher gun violence.
- Healthy communities offer cognitive, physical, social/emotional, cultural, and vocational development. Distressed communities need to be able to provide opportunities for these kinds of development.
- To impact gun violence among youth in concentrated poverty, we need to: target federal and state investments to communities of concentrated poverty, build community capacity, re-engage and support struggling students and drop-outs, expand work opportunities, and promote healing from trauma and adversity.