GUN VIOLENCE

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“My husband Olof was a respected physician, a loving husband, and an amazing dad to our three daughters. He’d struggled with depression in college, but had been symptom-free for years, when one April day, seemingly out of the blue, he drove to our local mall, bought a gun, and shot himself in our backyard. He died within two hours of purchasing

the gun.

While 70% of people who survive a suicide attempt will never try again, guns are so lethal that they don’t allow for a second chance. Sensible gun laws like a waiting period between buying and accessing a gun could have made all of the difference between life and death for my husband.” 

– McKay Sohlberg, Eugene

GUN VIOLENCE BY THE NUMBERS

Gun violence is currently a public safety—and public health—crisis in Oregon. Learn more about its devastating toll.

38,826

is the number of people in America who die each year from gun violence

92

is the number of 2021 homicide deaths in Portland alone, a record-breaking year of violence

81%

of gun deaths in Oregon that are suicide

522

is the average number of people who die by guns in Oregon every year

23

is Oregon’s place among the 50 states with the highest rate of unintentional gun deaths

21

is the number of hours between gun suicide deaths in Oregon

70%

of the people in Portland killed by gun violence who were people of color

6X

 more likely Black people in Oregon are to die by gun homicide than white people

3.3 Billion

dollars, is what gun violence costs Oregon each year

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“For survivors of domestic violence who are trying to escape, a gun in the home makes it even more difficult to do so safely. We know in situations of intimate partner violence that having a gun in the home increases the risk of fatality fivefold.

 

Even reporting the gun to authorities can lead to devastating retaliation if there's not a swift, clear pathway to hold abusers accountable. An abuser having a gun puts the survivor in an extremely dangerous, precarious position of not feeling safe to leave the relationship."

– Trish Meyer, Assistant Executive Director, Saving Grace, Bend