D.C. area colleges and universities have announced an effort to create solutions to reduce gun violence in the U.S.
The 120 Initiative – named in honor of the more than 120 people who die on average each day from gun violence – will be coordinated by the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
The consortium schools are American University; The Catholic University of America; Gallaudet University; George Mason University; Georgetown University; The George Washington University; Howard University; Marymount University; Montgomery College; Northern Virginia Community College; Prince George’s Community College; Trinity Washington University; University of the District of Columbia; University of Maryland; and University of Maryland Global Campus.
“Today, we add university presidents to the call for change,” said Dr. Darryll Pines, president of the University of Maryland. “Why? Because guns are now the leading cause of death for young people, and we are charged with shaping young minds to tackle the grand challenges of our time. Because we lead communities that are deeply affected by the mass slaughter of citizens, and some weeks it feels like the flags at our public institutions fly ceaselessly at half-staff. And because universities are often the source of change and progress.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the U.S. has had at least 314 mass shootings since the start of 2022, and gun violence through suicide, domestic abuse, and other assaults has resulted in more than 23,500 deaths so far this year.