Remembering gun violence victims in Hawaii

Here to tell us more is Ilima DeCosta, a Survivor and Legislative Lead for the Moms Demand Action Hawai'i Chapter.
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 9:46 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month.

Governor Josh Green on Friday signed into law two pieces of legislation intended to protect communities from gun violence -- one defining sensitive places where concealed carry guns are not allowed and another requiring the Department of Education to develop and implement an active shooter training program into schools.

The laws drew criticism from gun rights advocates, who say they are unconstitutional and will file lawsuits against the state.

Nonprofit Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America says every day 120 lives are lost to gun violence in the country. In Hawaii, one person dies in a shooting each week.

Survivor and Legislative Lead for the Hawaii Chapter of Mom’s Demand Action Ilima DeCosta joined HNN’s Sunrise Weekends to talk about the group’s Wear Orange campaign, which started 10 years ago after a fatal shooting of a 15 year old girl in Chicago.

Each year, advocates call for stronger gun laws through demonstrations and policy work.

Advocates cite these statistics in Hawaii: 67% of gun deaths are suicides and 22% are homicides. This is compared to 61% and 36% respectively, nationwide.

The rate of gun deaths in Hawaii increased 21% from 2009 to 2018, compared to an 18% increase over this same time period nationwide.

The presence of a firearm in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%. More than half of women killed by gun violence are killed by family members or intimate partners.

Over the ten-year period between 2008 and 2017, intimate partner homicides of women involving guns increased by 15 percent.

With a rate of 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people, Hawaii has one of the lowest rates of gun deaths and the third strongest set of gun safety laws.