June 28, 2022
A Statement from Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
Last week, Congress passed, and President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) into law. The prevalence of guns in America continues to endanger the Latino community and other historically and intentionally marginalized communities, such as in El Paso, Buffalo, and Uvalde. The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) commends the bipartisan efforts that have resulted in the first meaningful federal gun-reform law in decades.
The BSCA does not solve all of our country’s firearms problems, but it is a step in the right direction towards addressing how gun violence can be prevented at the local, state, and federal levels. The BSCA is in response to an inundation of mass shootings nationwide, which has targeted the Latinx community and other historically marginalized communities. As seen in El Paso and Buffalo, the domestic terrorists responsible posted their hateful and extremist ideology online. They even live-streamed their massacres online, demonstrating how online hate can and has led to real-world violence.
As of June this year, 250 mass shootings have been executed, and 27 occurred in schools. Additionally, firearm-related violence has become the leading cause of death for children and teens in this country. Gun-related violence is the second leading cause of death for Latino men in this country. Latinos are four times more likely to be killed by a firearm than their white counterparts, while Latinas are twice more likely to face the same fate than white women.
The BSCA enhances background checks for individuals under 21 years of age, protects victims of domestic violence, penalizes illegal gunrunners, and provides federal funding to enhance mental health services. Additionally, implementing intervention orders and violence prevention programs are key to transforming our children’s schools and our communities into safer spaces.
NHMC commends Congress and President Biden for their bipartisan efforts and enacting the first meaningful federal gun reform in decades. However, our mission to protect our communities and eradicate gun-related violence is far from done. From enhanced background checks to closing the gun-show loophole and banning assault rifles, we must continue to demand change from our elected leaders to safeguard our communities.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition