November 7, 2013
Last spring, city authorities held a meeting with the 45 South Philadelphia gang members they considered most likely to shoot someone or be shot. They told them they would face certain and serious consequences if they or any other members of their crews fired a gun. Just six months later, the results are striking. Compared with the same period in 2012, shootings in the targeted neighborhoods declined by 43 percent, from 39 to 22. Homicides fell by half, from 15 to 7. The police, District Attorney's Office, and Managing Director's Office, working with federal authorities and social-service agencies, have crafted this smart response to gun violence, known as Focused Deterrence.
November 1, 2013 |
The three Democrats running for reelection in the Sixth Legislative District have pursued various causes during their tenure: reducing gun violence, improving access to higher education, and supporting veterans. Challenging them on the ballot Tuesday are three Republicans, all of whom would be newcomers to elected office, with backgrounds in law and medicine, who say Trenton needs change. State Sen. James Beach, Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald, and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt represent the district, which includes parts of Camden and Burlington Counties and has more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans.
October 29, 2013 |
When it comes to crime in the City of Brotherly Love, should public corruption or gun violence be the priority for the District Attorney's Office? As the race for that office nears in the Nov. 5 election, incumbent Seth Williams and Republican challenger Danny Alvarez have sparred over that question. During a recent debate and in interviews, Williams, who ran on a "smart on crime" campaign four years ago, told of his efforts to transform the office's ways by having more diversionary programs and focusing on prosecuting what he sees as the most important cases - those dealing with gun violence.
October 27, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA To hear prosecutors tell it, Maurice Kimble's slaying is one of the most open-and-shut homicide cases ever to grace a Philadelphia Common Pleas court. At least 10 witnesses watched as 24-year-old Steven Miller gunned down the Upper Darby man just after midnight on June 11, 2012, steps from a crowded nightspot at the Piazza at Schmidts complex in Northern Liberties. But as jurors began to weigh Miller's fate Friday, his lawyer urged them to consider events from the point of view of his client - a man who three years earlier was himself the victim of gun violence.
October 23, 2013 |
In a rare act of gun violence in the city's most historic neighborhood, a Northeast Philadelphia man was shot in the back early Monday during an attempted carjacking in Old City. Police said the shooting happened around 1:20 a.m. after the 34-year-old victim left the Blurr nightclub on Bank Street. The man had placed the keys in the ignition of his blue 2007 Jeep Cherokee - parked on the 100 block of Walnut Street, near the former location of Old Original Bookbinders - when two men approached, police said.
October 10, 2013 |
ARMED WITH white balloons and candles, hundreds of mourners gathered last night to remember a 22-year-old man killed Sunday during a shooting rampage in a section of Kingsessing that has endured a recent surge of gun violence. The large crowd huddled together at 54th Street and Florence Avenue in front of the Los Papi Deli and Grocery where Devin Hatch and six other people were shot. Police said four or five men wearing hoodies approached a group standing at the corner and opened fire.
October 8, 2013 |
AS I WRITE this, there hasn't been a mass shooting in weeks. I'll use the lull to shoot off my mouth about guns, divorced from the debate that usually follows a massacre in which both sides dance on victims' graves for PR gain. When President Obama tried early this year to get gun restrictions passed - including background checks identical to Pennsylvania's current system - the vast majority of Americans wanted what he wanted. His most important goal was broadened criminal-background checks at the point of sale for guns.
September 24, 2013 |
ANOTHER mass shooting - 12 dead in this one, plus the shooter - and the nation once again stands paralyzed in shock, not knowing how to react. The sad thing, besides the obvious loss of life and the traumatized surviving victims, is that there is only one consequence we can count on as a result of this latest tragedy: Gun sales will soar. That has been the trend in recent years as the country has experienced increasing incidences of gun violence. It happened after Virginia Tech, in 2007; Tucson, in 2011; and, of course, after Newtown, Conn., last December.
September 23, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA No, there was not a 9,000-strong massacre on JFK Boulevard on Saturday. The thousands of chalk outlines represented a different kind of tragedy, artists said, one that takes place one day and one victim at a time: "When you talk to people about gun violence in America . . . it's a large number, but it's a hard number for people to comprehend," said Peter Quinn, the artist behind the project. "The whole idea here is to flesh out this number. " The more than 9,000 outlines being drawn Saturday represented the country's victims of gun violence so far this year.
September 22, 2013 |
TRENTON - In the spring, Gov. Christie personally proposed a ban on sales of the .50-caliber Barrett semiautomatic sniper rifle. But last month, the Republican governor vetoed a bill that would have implemented that very ban, saying Democratic lawmakers went too far by forcing current owners to give up the military-style weapon. Now, New Jersey's Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Steve Lonegan, whom Christie has endorsed, will hold a fund-raiser in Camden County in which donors can shoot the same gun for $25 a round.