CDC official says planting more trees fights gun violence

Debra Houry, director of the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, suggests that planting more trees can reduce gun violence.

The Hill reports that Houry indicates that “initiatives such as restoring vacant land by planting trees and grass have been shown to be effective in reducing gun violence.”

WXOW quoted Houry describing its tree planting approach as a “greening initiative”. She said: ‘We have also funded research into greening initiatives to find out where you can go in and improve the look of vacant land by planting grass and trees. This has been shown to reduce gun assaults by up to 29% in poor areas.

Houry’s observations on gun violence come in response to a CDC study showing an increase in firearm homicides in 2020, which was the first year of the coronavirus pandemic and associated coronavirus lockdowns.

The Hill notes that the CDC study shows that gun homicides were particularly prevalent among black boys and young men “between the ages of 10 and 24.” The firearm homicide rate for this group was “21.6 times higher than that of white males of the same age.”

No mention was made of any relationship between this age and possible gang affiliation. The Hill pointedly states: “The study did not draw any conclusions about the reasons for the increased rates of gun violence. However, increased gun control and other efforts, including planting trees and grass, were discussed in response.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky released a statement saying, “The tragic and historic increase in firearm homicides and the persistently high rates of firearm suicide underscore the urgent need for action to reduce injuries and firearm-related deaths.”

The “Discussion” preamble to the CDC study’s information also alludes to the need for increased gun control:

Approaches that focus on improving the safety and storage of firearms, particularly to prevent those at risk from harming themselves or others, are part of an overall prevention strategy. For example, research suggests that advice from a physician coupled with the provision of a security device is associated with safer home firearm storage practices (19). A recent study also concluded that child access prevention laws were associated with lower rates of youth firearm self-harm, including suicide, and that laws prohibiting the possession of firearms by people with domestic violence restraining orders are associated with reduced intimate partner homicides (20). It is important to examine the circumstances and mechanisms (e.g., implementation processes and changes in knowledge or standards) that facilitate the most effective approaches to gun safety (20). There is a substantial need for additional research to expand the evidence base of programs, policies and practices that effectively reduce firearm injuries and deaths and address inequalities in risk of violence and suicide .

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendmentt columnist for Breitbart News and author/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused onn all Second Amendment stuff, also for Breitbart News. He is a political analyst for Armed American Radio and an ambassador for Turning Point USA. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Contact him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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