Weekly Brief on Gun Violence and Prevention in Philadelphia

By The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia





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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.

Lives shortened
Above: The new Vital Statistics Dashboard from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health indicates that homicide has been the leading cause of potential years of life lost among Black male residents through 2019. The related press release says homicide has been the leading killer of young Black men since 2012. [shinyapps.io/phila.gov]
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes with Taj Devore-Bey
Behind the Scenes with Taj Devore-Bey
Taj Devore-Bey contributed his expertise as the cinematographer and associate producer on “The Lasting Impact,” a short video documentary produced last year with the help of the Credible Messenger Reporting Project. He was interviewed by our Community Engagement Manager Maxayn Gooden, who was also the Credible Messenger community journalist who lead the team that produced “The Lasting Impact.”
On the record
“During my first four hours as an attending physician in Philadelphia, I watched two patients die after being shot. By my fourth month in this role, my shoes were stained with the decimation of a community.” - Philadelphia emergency-room doctor Michelle Romeo
The real experts
Teen committee conducts gun violence survey to bring solutions to city officials
Engaging youth
Cycling groups get help from Philly DA through anti-violence grants
By the numbers
58: People shot last week in Philadelphia, up from 47 shooting victims recorded one week earlier.
839: Total Philadelphia shooting victims reported to police this year through Monday.
188: Year-to-date total homicides reported to Philadelphia Police through last night.
89: Year-to-date homicides recorded in Philadelphia as of the same date in 2014.
6: Mass shootings this year in Philadelphia, including last week’s incident near Temple University.
4: Age of last week’s youngest shooting victim in Philadelphia.
21: U.S. mass shooters known to have worn body armor. 
57: Percent increase in shootings that occurred on or near U.S. interstate highways from 2019 to 2021.
100: The U.S. gun violence death rate is nearly 100 times higher than in the United Kingdom.
3,500+: U.S. mass shootings since Sandy Hook.
By comparison
“I’ve asked myself a thousand times: How is it that New York City, with over 8.5 million residents, recorded 485 murders last year, while our city of 1.5 million had 562? There’s something really wrong with that. What are they doing that we aren’t?” - Philadelphia CeaseFire director Marla Davis Bellamy
Bi-weekly virtual briefing
• Philadelphia’s next Virtual Update on Gun Violence Response takes place this afternoon. Listen live at 1 p.m. on WURD Radio 900 AM / 96.1 FM or watch live online. [Facebook]
Stepping up
West Philadelphia activists plan to use committee member seats to mobilize neighbors against gun violence
Gun Buyback Program Success Is Hard to Measure
On the horizon
The Supreme Court Is Poised to Put Politics Ahead of Gun-Violence Prevention
“Any gun control law could possibly be at risk, from laws that make it harder to keep guns away from domestic violence offenders to safe storage laws to maybe even background checks.” - NYC Mayor Eric Adams
Pushed to Extremes: Domestic Terrorism amid Polarization and Protest
First aid
Red Cross Philadelphia
Do you and other people in your community know how to treat life-threatening bleeding until EMS arrives? Today is #StoptheBleed Day, part of #EMSWeek2022. Learn how to help today by visiting https://t.co/hm4cSi5qrq #TimetoTrain https://t.co/0foTFY3ggV
“We can enforce accountability among kids in age-appropriate and humane ways by prioritizing community-building and prevention of crime rather than punishment.” - Donnell Drinks of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
• Shootings have dropped 58 percent in Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods this year. Advocates credit prevention and intervention programs. [Block Club Chicago]
On the media
It’s time for local journalists to reckon with the racism we overlooked
Best reporting practices
• Responsible Reporting on Suicide for Journalists: a new course from Johns Hopkins University that you can audit for free. [Coursera]  
“There needs to be PeaceMobiles throughout the United States, so that we can really go in and work intentionally with individuals who are being impacted by trauma, who are being shot, whose families are losing loved ones.” - New York Peace Week creator Erica Ford
AI may be searching you for guns the next time you go out in public
Solutions of the Week
Philadelphia's $10 million buyback plan could save hundreds of community gardens and lots from sheriff's sale
Portland reduced gun violence by reviving a park. Could we try that in Philly?
• Westchester County (NY) is considering an ordinance that would require gun dealers to post signage with specific language about the public health risks associated with firearm ownership and unsecured firearms and require the county clerk to provide a copy of the firearms risk warnings to all permit applicants. [Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund]
• The Federal Firearm Licensing Act would require individuals to obtain a firearm license from the Department of Justice before purchasing or receiving a firearm. [Insider NJ]
In memoriam
Khaliyl Gilbert, 22, a big dreamer who was accepted to the Police Academy
Mass shootings continue
The New York Times
Breaking News: A gunman killed 14 children and a teacher at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said. The 18-year-old suspect was also killed. https://t.co/5zJTcrL1NK
San Antonio Express-News
The students who were killed were in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades, according to Uvalde CISD police chief Pete Arredondo. The shooting took place just two days before summer break. Live updates: https://t.co/l4v5a3v0Aq https://t.co/t8f0nO8xg5
• There have been 212 American mass shootings in 34 different states and Washington D.C. so far during 2022. (@GunDeaths)
Did you enjoy this issue?
The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

Better gun violence reporting could enhance public understanding and support for effective programs and policies to prevent shootings and hopefully save lives. But what does the most ethical, impactful and empathetic reporting look like?

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting was launched to explore the hypotheses that changing the practice of news reporting can prevent gun violence. Since then, our research has refined this focus by identifying harmful reporting practices, asking what best practices would look like and how they could be implemented. Now, we have organized our work into three closely-aligned programs:


Our community reporting project trains, compensates and empowers people impacted by gun violence in Philadelphia to produce and distribute news reports on its root causes, their lived experience and possible solutions from the community perspective, with guidance from professional journalists.


Our interdisciplinary research collaborative is exploring the intersection of gun violence, impacted communities and the media. Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica H. Beard is a trauma surgeon who cares for gunshot patients at Temple University Hospital and researches public health at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Her work is supported by a three-year Stoneleigh Foundation Fellowship.


Our professional development program strives to help journalists covering gun violence find a more diverse selection of experts, the most reliable data, evidence-based solutions, inspiring past reporting, strategies for community engagement, professional networking opportunities and additional resources. Representatives from every major Philadelphia news organization have participated.


We strive to model ourselves after other organizations that have dramatically advanced the practice of journalism. Within five years, we hope to support a small staff with a long runway for continuing operations and a strategic plan for sustainability.

Until then, we plan to continue supporting voices from the community, publishing research that informs best practices and building networks of journalists who believe we can all do better, make a difference and stop the violence.

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