ABOVE PHOTO: City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District)
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (D-5th Dist.) Monday issued the following statement following a weekend that saw 28 Philadelphians shot, 5 fatally, in 19 separate incidents of gun violence:
“First, let me send my sincere condolences to the families and friends of those killed and wounded in incidents this weekend. It is unacceptable that these families will be following what were joyful celebrations – graduations and Father’s Day barbecues – with funerals and hospital visits.
Unfortunately, attending funerals for loved ones lost to gun violence is far too common in our communities. It’s becoming clear that we are moving in the wrong direction in addressing this crisis.
Both the mass shootings that garner national headlines and the gun violence we witnessed this weekend are part of the same public health epidemic and deserve the same level of focus to address. Elected officials in particular need to work to break down the barriers that often cause conversations about gun violence reduction to stall over blame and partisan division.
Reducing gun violence is about saving lives and all potential solutions that can save lives — including lost-and-stolen weapons reporting, mental health and trauma interventions, expanded licensing and background checks, safe storage, and poverty reduction — need to be part of the conversation.
The City of Philadelphia cannot afford another weekend like this one. Our residents deserve to feel safe in our neighborhoods, stores, parks and homes. In a truly free society, people are not paralyzed with the fear that their next joyful celebration or trip to the corner store will be interrupted by gunfire. If you share that belief, I’m ready to work with you to end this cycle of violence once and for all.”