Sounding Board: What should be
done to reduce 'gun violence'?

Police investigate the scene of a shooting on July 23 on the 700 block of Ninth
Street, between Tilghman and Green streets. (Kristen Harrison/The Morning Call)

The Morning Call. July 25, 2019

On July 16th a man was shot in Allentown and taken to a hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening. He was the 25th person shot in the city since June 1. What should be done to reduce the amount of gun violence in the city?

We must take actions to stop illegal gun trafficking

Many of the recent shootings in Allentown bear the hallmarks of urban violence so common in America and have been reported to involve youth and gangs. We know enough about gun crime to be reasonably certain that the firearms involved have mostly found their way to Allentown's streets illegally.

In the short term, Zero Youth Violence is a new program under the auspices of Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley that is attempting to prevent gun violence by treating it somewhat like an infectious disease. This approach, pioneered by epidemiologist Gary Slutkin, reduced gun violence rates in some Chicago neighborhoods by 50% and more, and has been reproduced in many other urban neighborhoods across the country. Information is available in Slutkin's TED talk on the internet.

In the long term, we must get serious about stopping illegal gun trafficking. Requiring the reporting of lost and stolen firearms to law enforcement is an example of a law that has been shown to reduce illegal trafficking, and there are others. .....

Most commentaries concerning violence involving firearms use the term "Gun Violence" (a term that should be deprecated), seeking to inflict 'gun control' - however, this opinion piece appears to take a more sensible approach, based on penalties and societal problems etc. In other words concentrating on the criminal. For a change, reference is made to not 'blaming' the Second Amendment and, focusing on actual criminals and not the weapons they use.


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