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.
September 19, 2013 |
IT FELT as if someone had slugged him in the belly with a sledgehammer. Shot just below his bulletproof vest, Philadelphia Police Officer Rick Bowes collapsed on Colorado Street in North Philly. He lay dazed and bleeding, trying to get his bearings. Suddenly, Daniel Giddings loomed into view. Standing over the downed cop, Giddings dropped the spent magazine from his illegal gun and dug into his pocket for more ammunition. Bowes didn't know that Giddings already had shot and killed Officer Patrick McDonald a block away.
August 17, 2013 |
TRENTON - As officials prepared Thursday to announce a law enforcement surge to combat a spurt in violent crime in New Jersey's capital, the urgency of the move was shockingly underscored by gunfire that left two city police officers wounded, one critically, and the attacker dead. The officers were shot as they followed up on a domestic-violence call on Hobart Avenue in the East Ward. Eric McNeil, 24, a recently freed convict, surprised the officers when he emerged from his former girlfriend's house just before 9 a.m. and fired, Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr. said.
August 10, 2013 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie signed 10 bills Thursday targeting gun violence in New Jersey, including measures requiring that certain mental-health records be submitted to the federal background-check database and increasing penalties for gun trafficking. Christie did not take action on several other measures passed by the Legislature after the December massacre in Newtown, Conn., including a proposal to ban .50-caliber guns and another requiring that gun-permit information be encoded on driver's licenses.
August 8, 2013 |
Gun violence surged in Philadelphia late Monday into early Tuesday, leaving two men and one woman dead and a third man clinging to life, police said. Thomas Samarco, 37, of East Frankford, was gunned down about 11 p.m. Monday on the 700 block of East Allegheny Avenue in Kensington, police said. Officers found him on the ground with fatal wounds to his left shoulder and upper back. As medics pronounced Samarco dead at 11:11 p.m., a 33-year-old man was being rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania after being shot multiple times minutes earlier on the 500 block of North Creighton Street in the Mill Creek section of West Philadelphia, police said.
July 27, 2013 |
Philadelphia is fighting "the way of the gun" and striving to end violence, especially among African American boys and men. That was the message Thursday at a City Hall news conference held by leaders of various city departments who pledged to work collaboratively to make the city safer. "The way of the gun is not the way of a successful life," said Richard Negrin, the city's managing director. Picking up a gun offers a young person the kind of power "you can get drunk on - the power of life or death," Negrin continued.