Summer shooting madness
Nayaba Arinde | 7/27/2017, 10:40 a.m.
He continued, “Having said that, no matter how poor you are, no matter how much racism you have suffered, even with a Trump in office, there is no reason to take the life of another Black person. You have to put a higher value on life, including your own. You must be part of the solution, not the problem.”
State Sen. Kevin Parker noted that the city is in the wake of June’s Gun Violence Awareness Month “with community activists as well as elected officials hosting rallies, town hall meetings and a range of activities all aimed at combating gun violence.” He added, “But now that the curtains have gone down on this vital concentrated effort, the question of what’s next remains.”
Parker continued, “Nationally, at least 32,000 people a year are killed by guns. As such, gun-related violence and death have become not just a public safety issue, but also a public health concern. In fact, firearms remain the only consumer product not regulated by the federal government for health and safety compliance, yet more and more Americans are dying from guns than automobile accidents year after year.”
The state senator wants to put the issue into real-time context though. He explained, “In New York City, gun violence is a major problem every day of the year and not just during the Labor Day weekend, as some would erroneously have us believe. My position is that the problem is not our parades, nor our block parties or our nightlife scene. Not even guns per se—though I wholeheartedly support sensible gun control laws as indicated by my vote in favor of New York’s Safe Act in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Unlike rural and suburban communities whose tales of gun violence follow a script of isolated outbursts of assault weapon fueled aggression, in New York City and urban centers across the nation, the story of gun violence is one of constant and horrific systematic deconstruction of already marginalized communities.”
He further explained, “When you end up with startling statistics like 40 percent of all shootings in NYC are from gang violence, it is clear that we are not doing a good enough job engaging our youth. We must do a better job of taking care of our young people in our schools by increasing access to athletics and unconventional sports like fencing and tennis, while bolstering art and theater offerings. For many years now I have sought to make every New York City public school a Beacon School with 24 hours a day, seven days a week access to educational and family support services.”
By way of political solution, Parker offered, “I have developed a far-reaching legislative agenda sponsoring bills such as one that increases the types of firearms that are to be included in the firearm ballistic identification database, and another potential law that would require owners of firearms to obtain liability insurance.”