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Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia

Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia
Each Wednesday morning we share news, research, data, opinions and community responses related to gun violence and prevention in Philadelphia.

Above: Heat map shows concentrations of shooting victims reported to police in Philadelphia during the seven-day period ending Sunday. [Philadelphia Office of the Controller]]
Above: Heat map shows concentrations of shooting victims reported to police in Philadelphia during the seven-day period ending Sunday. [Philadelphia Office of the Controller]]
Community voices
Returning to daily life after 28 years behind bars, the Horton brothers are grateful, relieved — and ready with a plan to reduce Philly violence
Photo essay: Happy tears at opening of The Teen Safe Space in North Philadelphia
YMCA event gives Philadelphia youth an outlet for expressing grief, fears caused by gun violence
Words and pictures
Philadelphia mothers who have lost children to gun violence share their experiences with grief
• Photographer Kathy Shorr hopes that what began as a project to highlight the enduring grief of so many mothers will grow into a call to action and activism. [The Philadelphia Inquirer/]
On the ground
Sammy Caiola
This weekend I went to a West Philly YMCA where middle and high school kids gathered for a gun violence discussion. I heard things like "it's just death after death" and "adults not doin' nothing about it" and "10 people I knew died in 2021". They're angry, and they're scared.
Gun safety at home
• The best way to protect your children from accidental shootings is to not keep firearms in your home. But if you choose to keep a gun at home, be sure it is stored safely. []
Investigating nonfatal shootings
“Nobody wants to answer questions right after they’ve been shot. A lot of times they are scared when they’re in the emergency room, or they don’t know who’s waiting for them or who knows what information. Timing is key with victims.” – Save Our City founder Rosalind Pichardo [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
By the numbers
113: Shooting victims reported to Philadelphia Police during the first 21 days of this month. At least 23 died. 
73: Year-to-date homicides in Philadelphia through late Monday night, representing a one percent decrease vs. the same period last year.
Zoom in tonight
• Learn about gun violence through a public health lens and the role community organizations, faith-based institutions and individuals can play in supporting violence prevention, even if they are not located in the communities most affected by violence. [Congregation Beth Am Israel via ShulCloud]
“Temple has maintained personnel and expenditures on policing that are the largest among four-year universities in the nation. But those investments have done very little if anything to curb the rise of gun violence on or near the campus.” – Michigan education Prof. Charles H. F. Davis III 
“Pulling drill rap videos from TikTok won’t stop the violence plaguing cities. What would, however, are economic ladders and opportunities to help these aspiring creatives see their way out of poverty, and recognize that guns and violence don’t have to be part of the equation.” – Jenice Armstrong
• Officials say that a collaborative initiative has helped reduce violence in West Philadelphia. One resident expressed disagreement. [NBC10]
• Harrisburg’s police commissioner called the recent court ruling prohibiting Philadelphia from requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms “the dumbest.” []
• A far-right podcaster in Lehigh County was arrested alongside his father for illegal possession of 13 fully automatic machine guns and a dozen silencers. [The Trace/DOJ]
Civil court case
Sandy Hook families settle for $73M with gun maker Remington
New research
• Our director of research Dr. Jessica Beard and colleagues presented on their research into firearm violence in Philadelphia during the pandemic and the underlying social causes of firearm violence. [Temple University Libraries]
• A decades-long study in Orange County, California found that a gun was used in 72% of domestic violence deaths. [Los Angeles Times]
Predictable and preventable
“It’s extremely difficult engaging a 25-year-old who has seven previous adult arrests, who is an avowed member of his neighborhood clique, who’s not currently interested in services, but that is the individual we have to serve.“ – National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform executive director David Muhammad
On the media
• The media is likely playing an enormous role in building and sustaining inaccurate beliefs about why gun violence occurs and what we can do to prevent it, according to researchers at the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center at Rutgers. []
• Intense media coverage of stand-your-ground laws could be contributing to the resulting increase in homicides, according to a doctor and researcher at Tufts. [The Washington Post]
In memoriam
Police tactics
• Local officials authorized Phoenix Police to purchase drones shortly after five officers were shot during a domestic violence incident. The police brief made no mention of privacy safeguards or other guidelines. [Phoenix New Times]
• Police will begin random luggage checks on interstate buses coming into New York City. The approach raises legal and civil liberties concerns and criminologists aren’t sure it will be effective. []
Make a difference: Support the Center.
• Dig into our agenda for 2022 and some of the projects for which we are presently seeking support. []
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The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

Reporting on gun violence comes with exceptional challenges, responsibilities and opportunities. The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting wants to help.

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