Week 9: August 23, 2020
With one crisis hitting the United States after another, life for Americans, particularly low income, immigrant, and BIPOC Americans has been a constant struggle this year, often made worse by the incompetence or active opposition of local and state governments. In Philadelphia, and many other cities around the country, a rise in gun violence has been another crisis that disproportionately affects communities of color, an emergency amplified by the conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic; namely, an economic emergency, a lack of structured activities of both adults and children, stress, and reduced social services.
Instead of addressing the issue, the republican controlled state legislature is hiding behind the pandemic, actively divesting from non-police violence prevention measures, such as cutting 1.4 million dollars from the Office of Violence Prevention and halting other violence intervention programs. Instead of taking steps to address the issue, the government is making it easier for people to buy and sell guns, resulting in more available firearms.
Bills addressing the storage of firearms, loopholes in the background-check system, and red flag laws have not even gotten a vote while gun retailers have been systematically exempt from emergency orders issued by the governor, culminating in skyrocketing numbers of gun violence.
What are some reasons for gun violence being on the rise and why do these disproportionately affect communities of color.
How is the government handling the situations and do you think it is effective?