By Curtis Jones | thephiladelphiacitizen.org
I couldn’t sleep last night trying to dissect all of the causes for the pandemic-level rise in gun violence in Philadelphia. It is a multi-pronged problem that will require an all-hands-on-deck solution. This national problem shocked Overbrook Park, an otherwise peaceful neighborhood in my district, with a shootout that resulted in two deaths, including that of a 16-year-old boy who had his whole life ahead of him.
No neighborhood should consider this normal—or acceptable. The opioid crisis rose to a level of concern that the City’s resources were coordinated and deployed. Last year’s pandemic created an interdepartmental Covid-19 strategy to save lives.
Gun violence in the City of Philadelphia continues to be the leading cause of death among African-American males between the ages of 16 to 25. A similar approach is warranted.
If 300 whales washed up on the shores of the Delaware River, every marine biologist would rally to find the cause and a solution. Our youth deserve every bit of our effort in solving our gun violence problem, and saving their lives.