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Rep. McClinton: ‘Gun violence is a community problem that requires a community solution.’

September 3, 2020

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Representative Joanna McClinton penned a powerful op-ed in the Phildelphia Tribune advocating for community-based solutions to senseless shootings. The piece comes amid a violent summer in Philadelphia and an even deadlier year. According to police data, shootings in Philadelphia have increased by at least 36% this year, and children continue to pay the price.

While Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg have refused to take action on gun safety legislation, local gun violence intervention groups have risen to the challenge of saving lives from shootings. Rep. McClinton highlights these community-based solutions, saying:

“Part of changing this culture of killing must involve coming together and forming a collaborative effort that includes law enforcement, elected officials, community leaders and neighbors — especially our young people.

We’re seeing this play out already with the creation of the Group Violence Intervention plan, along with a number of virtual town halls and community meetings to address the issue, which I proudly participated in with local police, city councilmembers and those who lost loved ones to this pandemic.”

The Gun Violence Intervention (GVI) model uses a focused deterrence framework to call in community members, support service providers, and law enforcement to collaborate and reach those most at risk of being involved in gun violence. In Chicago, homicides decreased by 37 % in targeted neighborhoods after individuals participated in a GVI program.

The GVI model is one of many strategies used by community groups to intervene in gun violence across Pennsylvania. Other strategies in Philadelphia include efforts led by Mothers In Charge – Philadelphia, Philadelphia CeaseFire, and the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network. And in Pittsburgh, Moms Demand Action and Everytown have partnered with the South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace, Black Women for Positive Change, Ceasefire PA to support community solutions to gun violence. 

As Rep. McClinton underscores, gun violence demands several common-sense solutions, especially those led by community members in cities experiencing spikes in shootings. Leading up to November, Everytown and Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action will fight to elect candidates who promise to support these local gun violence intervention strategies and gun safety legislation.

If you have any questions about community-based gun violence intervention strategies, or Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action’s election plans, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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