The current landscape of gun violence: A Q&A with Deanna Hollas

The current landscape of gun violence: A Q&A with Deanna Hollas

In 2019, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ordained Deanna Hollas as the nation’s first gun prevention minister — she’s the gun violence prevention coordinator for Presbyterian Peace Fellowship . Recently, Leslie Scanlon of the Presbyterian Outlook spoke with Hollas about soaring gun sales during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and about American attitudes towards firearms. The Pew Research Center reports that close to half of Americans (48%) see gun violence as a “very big” problem in the country; about 4 in 10 American adults (44%) say they live in household with a gun; and about half of Americans (53%) favor stricter gun control laws, although there is not necessarily agreement about what those proposals should be. Here’s the Outlook’s conversation with Hollas, edited and condensed for clarity. Q: What are your thoughts as we are starting to emerge from the pandemic, and also experiencing episode after episode of gun violence. It felt like we had a little bit of a breather for a little while during the pandemic. Then — wow. A: “It’s not surprising, in that the pandemic led to record gun sales. More gun sales than we’ve ever had” — nearly 23 million firearms sold in the U.S. in 2020 . “So if you have more guns, you have more gun violence. … What we had a breather from was mass shootings. But 2020 was still a record year for gun deaths” — with nearly 20,000 dying from gun violence in 2020, the highest number in at […]

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