New memorial of 3,400 white vases represents each Californian who died from gun violence in 2020

A new memorial set to be unveiled Tuesday features 3,400 white vases, representing each Californian who died as a result of gun violence in 2020.

Giffords, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will host a press conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday unveiling its Gun Violence Memorial installation in Exposition Park.

The memorial is part of Giffords’ efforts to bring awareness to the thousands of lives lost to gun violence every year.

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The Los Angeles-area memorial comes after Giffords unveiled a memorial on the National Mall in Washington earlier this year, displaying 40,000 flowers in remembrance of all the people who are shot and killed in the U.S. every year. 

Gun violence rose dramatically in 2020. California saw homicides jump by 30% between 2019 and 2020, the largest increase in state history. Gun deaths were the primary driver of homicides, accounting for 91% of homicides, and disproportionately impacting Black and Latino Californians. 

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And nationally, new provisional data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 45,000 people died because of gun violence last year—a 15% increase from 2019. That’s an average of more than 120 gun deaths each day. The data underscores the toll gun violence has taken on our communities in California and across our country. 

Speakers at Tuesday's press conference will call on Congress and local lawmakers to finally take action so no more lives are needlessly lost to a preventable crisis.

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