A new report released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting (June 12) highlights the impact of gun violence on the LGBTQ community.
According to the report, entitled “Remembering and Honoring Pulse: Anti-LGBTQ Bias and Guns are Taking Lives of Countless LGBTQ People,” more than 10,000 hate crimes are perpetrated in the U.S. each year involving guns (or more than 28 a day). Furthermore, three out of four transgender murders that have occurred since 2013, as well as eight out of 10 murders of Black trans women, involved a gun.
Transgender and other LGBTQ youth have also disproportionately experience threats with weapons while on school property: 21 percent of transgender youth, 17 percent gay and lesbian, nine percent bisexual, and five percent non-LGBTQ.
“From the tragedy at Pulse nightclub four years ago, to the dozens of transgender and gender non-conforming people killed by firearms over the last decade, our community is under attack and needs reform to improve our well-being,” HRC President Alphonso David said. “This report outlines the problem at hand and provides strong recommendations for helping build a better, safer future for our community, one that is free from gun violence.”
The report further details a 43 percent increase in the formation of anti-LGBTQ hate groups last year, suggesting that LGBTQ people are more likely to suffer a discriminatory attack.
HRC suggests a number of policy changes to address the epidemic on gun violence, regarding both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ AmeRicans: limiting access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, limiting the ability of those with history of domestic abuse to access guns, requiring mandatory reporting of hate crimes from all law enforcement agencies, and appropriating at least $25 million annually for the CDC and National Institutes of Health to conduct research on gun violence.
The report comes on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse shooting. In 2016, a man fatally shot 49 people and wounded 58 more at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. At the time, it was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and it still remains as the worst mass killing of LGBTQ people.