Sunday, June 7, 2015

BRONX COUNCILMN RESPONDS TO RISE IN NYC GUN VIOLENCE

by
 Zach Atanasoff

Bronx Councilman Responds to Rise in NYC Gun Violence [Photo Credit: Reporter, Zach Atanasoff]

NYPD statistics recently revealed that shootings are 20% higher this year than they were for the same period (January to May) in 2013 or 2014. There were 135 gun-related homicides by May this year, but police have simultaneously cut down on usage of what was once a primary tool for preventing gun violence-- the stop-and-frisk.

But New York City Councilman Andy King says reverting back to the controversial policy is not the way to reduce crime. He joined advocates Tuesday to discuss an alternative approach to curbing gun violence.

The Bronx Councilman stood alongside students and advocates in front of Evander Childs School on East Gunhill Road to observe "National Gun Violence Awareness Day." The release of the NYPD's statistics one day prior made the initaitive even more pertinent.

Councilman King says awareness and community intervention will be key to stopping gun violence. Awareness is spread by wearing orange, which resembles the florescent orange worn by hunters to warn other hunters not to shoot them.

Councilman King says that providing positive outlets for the city's youth helps to keep them from submitting to bad influences. He says parents also play a huge role in their children's success. He's calling on parents to set their kids on the right track. Erica Ford, Founder of the group Peace is a Lifestyle, agrees that parent involvement is essential.

Ford says, "Know what's on your children's Facebook page. Know who they're hanging out with. Know what's happening in their hallways at school. Because it is our children that [are] committing our crimes, in our community."

Councilman King has introduced a resolution to reinforce parent involvement. The resolution would hold parents repsonsible if their kids (ages 17 and under) are found in possession of a firearm.