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Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia

Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia
Each week we share news from the our Center plus updates on gun violence and prevention in Philadelphia from our partners at Billy Penn

Credible Messengers Report
Not Giving Up: B. McFly interviews Suleiman Hassan of Soldiers for Recovery
• Brandon Chastang, better know as B. McFly, interviews Suleiman Hassan of Soldiers for Recovery in this first video from a series he recently produced for our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. They discuss intersections between addiction, mental health, trauma and violence plus their views on solutions and some upcoming efforts. WHYY gun violence prevention reporter Sammy Caiola was the professional partner on this project and Chris Mansfield was the Credible Messenger video producer. Visit our web site to catch more reports from this series soon.
Apply now: The Credible Messenger Reporting Project
Weekly Brief from Billy Penn
By the numbers
55: People shot in Philadelphia during the seven-day period ending Sunday night, according to the weekly major crimes report published Monday by Philadelphia Police. The previous week’s total was revised up from 34 to 59 shooting victims.
1,046: Total shooting victims recorded this year in Philadelphia as of Tuesday, including 231 fatalities.
257: Year-to-date total homicides reported to Philadelphia Police through last night.
114: Year-to-date total homicides reported to Philadelphia Police through the same date in 2014.
93: U.S. school shootings recorded during 2020-2021 school year, highest total in 20 years.
Updates from Up the Block and The Trace
Up the Block is maintained by The Trace.
Up the Block is maintained by The Trace.
• Up the Block now includes a huge amount of information relating to how to reach your local government, as well as a few new organizations you can work with to keep your neighborhood safe. Visit:
The Trace Is Hiring a Community Engagement Reporter in Philadelphia
Philadelphians tell local leaders what should be done about gun violence
National news nutshell
On Gun Control, Supreme Court And Congress Move In Opposite Directions
Role of the media
“In the medical community, gun violence is considered a public health issue. But by and large, in U.S. news media it’s not discussed as a public health issue. It’s largely discussed as criminal justice. … There’s not as much reporting on potential solutions to these problems, compared to the volume of the coverage of the crime itself.” - Lehigh University journalism professor, former Philadelphia Daily News photographer and PCGVR research partner Dr. Jennifer Midberry via The Journalist’s Resource.
Uvalde: how we could reduce school shootings even without gun control.
• Fact check: A Fox News host last week said: “I don’t believe anybody with a concealed carry permit ever committed a mass shooting.” That’s inaccurate; there have been several such cases, including the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. The nonprofit Violence Policy Center has counted 37 mass shootings that were committed by concealed carry permit holders since 2007. [POLITIFACT]
Don’t Blame Bail Reform for Gun Violence
Mental Health, Gun Violence, And Why America Connects Them
On policing
Commentary: Why More Police Funding Is No Route to Public Safety
• Could fewer arrests reduce crime? [The Guardian]
• Chicago police unveil long-awaited foot pursuit policy. [AP]
Solution of the Week
Fight City Gun Violence With Better Street Design
Shameka S.L. Sawyer
It’s been 2 years since I lost my brother to gun violence. This program is in his memory. He loved mentoring young people and I want to keep his memory alive by doing something he loved. Please share. Contact me if you want to support.
In memoriam
Kyle Singleton, 30, ambitious entrepreneur and dapper dresser
Do you need help?
In Philadelphia:
• The City of Philadelphia operates a 24-hour telephone hotline to assist people and their families dealing with behavioral health emergencies at (215) 685-6440. More info:
• If you or someone you know is suicidal, in crisis, or in need of general mental health support, please know help is available. You can contact your physician, local hospital emergency room, or any of the hotlines, text lines, web chats, and support groups listed below. Most are free and confidential resources. Many are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
• Crisis Text Line: 741741
• Lifeline Chat web chat service
• Samaritans’ Helpline: (877) 870-4673 (available in 240+ languages)
Journalists: Take this online course on Responsible Reporting on Suicide. (You can audit it for free or pay to get certified.)
Don's miss our web site
The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting
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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