Founder, Chief Growth Officer
Publish dateOct 12, 2022
How Innovative Cities Are Combatting Gun Violence Where We Live, Work, Learn, and Play
Citizens Are Concerned—Everywhere
Today, violent gun crimes are happening everywhere: in schools, malls, grocery stores, even city parades. Gun violence in the U.S. has surged in the last few years, with 2020 and 2021 marking some of the deadliest years on record. It is no wonder that as many as eight in 10 Americans rate violent crime as a leading issue in the U.S.
- In 2020, homicides increased across U.S. cities overall, with murders increasing by 33 percent and gun homicides by 37 percent compared to 2019, the largest single-year increase in more than a century, according to data published by the FBI.
- Guns were the leading cause of death among children and teens in 2020, accounting for more deaths than COVID-19, car crashes, or cancers.
“This widespread rise [in gun violence] is affecting small and large cities—and blue and red cities and states alike. The seemingly dispersed nature of this rise is fueling fear nationwide.” – Brookings, April 2022
What is causing this explosion in city and gun violence and its impact on our way of life? Most critically, how can we take proactive steps to fight this growing national epidemic?
This five-part blog series will take this topic head on—offering actionable and proactive solutions from some of the most forward-thinking and innovative mayoral offices, law enforcement agencies, and security experts in cities across the U.S. These cities are watching their crime and gun violence statistics improve by focusing their efforts on layered security strategies. These initiatives include strengthening the capabilities and processes used by those who manage venue and event security as well as deploying the right technology to help mitigate today’s threats.
Today, public and private organizations in cities of all sizes are not OK with the status quo. Not on our watch. Not when mass shootings are happening where we live, work, learn, and play. We can do something about it. What compelled me to co-found Evolv Technology nine years ago—the desire to help create weapons-free zones—is needed now more than ever as we battle this growing national epidemic.
First, how did we get here?
The U.S., like many countries, has always dealt with gun violence issues. The combination of many more guns (both legal and illegal) on the streets, an increased willingness to use them to settle disputes, and a noticeable increase in societal polarization and anxiety—all have contributed to an environment of heightened gun violence. Everyone agrees that gun violence is an incredibly complex issue, one that’s plagued our nation for decades.
As a group of informed and concerned experts working to reduce gun violence, we’ll continue to factor in the contributors to this violence. At the same time, we’ll push forward to implement the systems and processes, people-engagement and training, and state-of-the-art technologies that are working right now to reduce gun violence. The bottom line is that all of us want to feel safer than we do right now. This is achievable. The debate can rage on—but we are moving forward to take our cities back.
These cities activated solutions that work
Our series covers best practices across four major U.S. cities, each with a focus on how they are addressing gun violence creatively, innovatively, and—most importantly—in partnership with public and private organizations in a way that is delivering real results.
- Detroit, Michigan: Reducing gun violence where we live
- New York, NY: Reducing gun violence where we work
- Guildford, North Carolina: Reducing gun violence where we learn
- Atlanta, Georgia: Reducing gun violence where we play
Making everywhere safer
The actions we are taking today can save lives. Regardless of the outcome of federal and state mental health and gun safety initiatives, I’ve never seen a more inspiring and focused assembly of national (even global) security experts, local law enforcement, and mayoral offices diving into partner against gun violence. These practical solutions all have a specific, common denominator: the strengthening of people, processes, and technology.
Join us in the weeks ahead as this 5-part blog series highlights steps any city can take to do the right thing by its citizens.