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Recent Gun Violence Spark Concerns, Action

In wake of Newtown tragedy, gunfire in and around Bed-Stuy renews calls for activism.

 

Four recent shooting incidents in and around Bedford-Stuyvestant, two of them fatal, are forming the basis for revived anti-violence measures at the community level, the New York Amsterdam News is reporting.

The year 2013 started off violently in central Brooklyn. January 6 saw the fatal shooting of a man outside a diner in nearby Clinton Hill; on January 10 a a 41-year-old ABC News staffer was shot and killed near the intersection of Macon and Throop; while in East New York a 90-year-old woman was shot in her elbow.

Local resident Malcolm Ford asked the New York Amsterdam News, “Have we become immune to the shootings? We used to rally when there were shootings. Have we in the community and our leaders become disaffected and unmoved? People used to run when they heard gunshots, now they don’t. Where is the real search for a solution? Who is really looking into the issue of mental health and all these shootings?”

“In Newtown they were immediately helped. They rallied … got federal and state help, lots of funding and therapy—we don’t get that. Why not? Why aren’t we demanding this for our community? And why aren’t our elected officials more proactive and less reactionary every time someone gets shot?”

January's string of tragedies lead local leaders including Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), City Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, City Councilman Al Vann, Assemblyman Walter Mosley, District Leader Robert Cornegy, Jr., and others to hold a press conference at Von King Park on Sunday, Jan. 13.

At the conference Jeffries released a letter to the acting director of the Bureau of Alchol, Tobacco and Firearms, B. Todd Jones, requesting a meeting to discuss the illegal gun trade in New York City.

“These shootings are made possible by the presence of illegal firearms that are often trafficked into New York City from states in the deep South and other parts of the country,” Jeffries said. “We must all do more to combat the flood of guns into our neighborhoods.”

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