It's no secret that illegal gun crime is a major problem in our urban areas. Gun violence is a multi-faceted and complex issue. Whatever the circumstances, and whatever the outcomes, the resulting negative impact in our communities is demonstrable and profound.
Reducing gun violence must be a core objective as we work to improve our communities and ensure that they are safe. Law enforcement cannot fight the gun violence battle alone. While their swift response to incidents of gun violence is critical, it is not enough to be reactive. Law enforcement leaders need community partners, citizens from each neighborhood, and elected officials alike to act in the public interest to reduce the escalating level of gun violence in America.
Each community must develop and embrace its own plan to address the gun violence problems in their area. As a beginning, a multifaceted plan would include efforts to:
Keep Communities Safe through1...
Keep Police Officers Safe through...
What can I do?
Major initiatives are in the works to prevent gun violence across the country. Some of these are:
Without exception, these are started by one person with a love of community and a passion for change. Any person with a vision to enhance community safety through the reduction of gun violence can make a difference. Most importantly, these solutions begin by looking within the community and empower people to change the policies governing their homes and neighborhoods, which is the best way to achieve real social change.
Model Gun Violence Reduction Programs
For inspiration, here are some grassroots approaches2. Early successes include:
2 As noted in the joint report from the Joyce Foundation and the IACP: http://www.theiacp.org/portals/0/pdfs/gunviolencereductionguide2011.pdf