OPINION: To Combat Gun Violence, Clean Up the Neighborhood

New York Times | PHILADELPHIA — Until a Black man turns 45, his most likely cause of death is homicide. After each such violent death, traumatic shock waves pierce through family and friends. Whole neighborhoods suffer. In some communities with high rates of violent crime, babies are more likely to be born early, children are more likely to struggle in school and adults are more likely to report being depressed, as well as face increased risk of heart disease.

A recent spike in violent crime in cities across the country has pushed the Biden administration to develop an important federal gun violence prevention strategy. Parents, leaders and activists in Black communities have been fighting against the terror of gun violence for decades. The country is finally catching up to their work.

Click here to read about it in the New York Times.


Editorial from CAGV Communications Director Jonathan Perloe

“I still see those empty orange running shoes in my dreams. What those two bullets took away. I miss her.”

These are the words a friend used to begin the story of his niece’s murder. Rebecca had just broken up with her then college boyfriend. He was a legally licensed gun owner. He didn’t have a history of physical or emotional abuse against Rebecca. But the day she broke off the relationship she was scared enough to phone the police after her ex called to say he was driving down to see her one last time. The police interviewed him and concluded he was not dangerous. He ended up going back to his car to retrieve his .357 Magnum. He went to her dorm room, shot her twice in the face then took his own life.

Women are five times more likely to be killed when her abuser has access to a gun.

Ebony’s estranged boyfriend came to the bingo parlor where she was hanging out with friends. He said, “If I can’t have her, you can’t have her either” then shot Ebony to death. Ebony’s ex had a history of domestic violence. Just 10 days earlier he was arrested for severely beating Ebony. He had a prior conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence. But under South Carolina law he was still legally allowed to own firearms.

Connecticut has its own illogical gun law. Under our current domestic violence protection law an alleged abuser who is subject to a temporary restraining order (TRO) is allowed to keep and buy guns even though the standard for a judge to issue a TRO is the likelihood of the victim facing “immediate and present physical harm.” During 2015 there were more than 40,000 reported incidents of domestic violence in Connecticut. It’s believed that many more are never reported to law enforcement.

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Once Again, Guns

Here is the NY Times editorial, Once again,guns, by Gail Collins:

It’s evening and a mom is tucking in her baby. Getting a nice text from dad, who’s away on a trip. Then suddenly — dark shadow on a window. Somebody’s smashing the front door open! Next thing you know, there’s police tape around the house, blinking lights on emergency vehicles.

“It happens like that,” says a somber narrator. “The police can’t get there in time. How you defend yourself is up to you. It’s your choice. But Mary Landrieu voted to take away your gun rights. Vote like your safety depends on it. Defend your freedom. Defeat Mary Landrieu.”

To read the full article click here.