“The gunshots are like lullabies over here,” said a resident of the Walt Whitman Houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, to NY1, in the wake of the shooting death of Domingo Martin, 46, Saturday night. “They help you get to sleep. Unfortunately for that guy, it’s permanent.”

“It is an epidemic!” declared Brooklyn City Council Member Jumaane Williams at a press conference held Monday on the steps of Jay Street City Hall. “It is a national public health crisis!”

The NYPD told the Amsterdam News that this past weekend—from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, Aug. 2—there were 10 shooting incidents with 22 victims, including three deaths. Monday, Aug. 3, on Dwight Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Fredrick Marquise, 19, and another man were suspected of shooting three women and two men. It is reported that a 19-year-old woman was four months pregnant and lost her child. All the other victims are expected to survive.

Nine partygoers were injured when a man with a gun fired shots, shattering the early Sunday morning peace on Stanley Avenue in East New York. Video and eyewitness accounts reveal that someone unable to get into a party allegedly began shooting into a crowd outside. Four others suffered minor injuries.

A few precincts away, across from the Whitman Houses, Martin died from multiple gunshot wounds. In the Soundview section in the Bronx, Christian Garcia, 20, was shot dead, and a 25-year-old male and a 17-year-old female received non-fatal gunshots wounds. Donnell Smith was fatally shot in the Glenwood Houses in Brooklyn. More than one drive-by shooting left victims in Red Hook and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. The sad list goes on.

A bank of TV cameras and press gathered at the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall as Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams launched a weeklong gun violence awareness campaign. He, Williams and other activists and stood in front of an open casket containing photos of victims of gun violence. Meant to spark a serious community conversation, the casket will remain there all week, Adams said, as he pushed his “Take Five to Stay Alive” plan of action for “New Yorkers to help reduce the impact of gun violence in their community.”

Williams noted, “In the Bronx, they are getting all of the experts to deal with Legionnaires’ disease so they can nip it in the bud. We need all of the experts, all of the people to get involved with the gun violence because people are dying at a higher rate than any other disease in this country.”

Every speaker from Adams to Williams to Michael Tucker from Lay the Guns Down (see page 5) demanded that city agencies other than the NYPD, including the Department of Education, get involved with supportive alternatives to help the young people navigate the difficulties they find themselves in.

Andre T. Mitchell, founder and executive director of Man Up!, Inc. fiercely guards and protects his 75th Precinct, infamously dubbed one of the city’s most violent precincts.

Recognized nationwide for his group’s peaceful and effective patrolling and violence-interruption efforts, Mitchell asked authorities to expand and fund this very successful approach across the country, saying that his is “one of the organizations blessed to be funded so that we can apply a model and a method that directly targets gun violence in the hottest precincts throughout the city. We have identified 15 hotspots in the 75th; we are only able to target two. So there’s 13 outstanding target areas which we cannot cover because of lack of funding.” Mitchell noted for emphasis that the shooting in East New York this past weekend was outside of his catchment area.

“Community patrols work,” said Assemblyman Charles Barron. “The stats show us that people involved in criminal activity shy away from communities which have organized to take back their streets. We see the effectiveness of groups like A.T. Mitchell and others across the city in reducing the gun violence. So why wouldn’t the city and state expand these groups if they really wanted to stop the violence? Why wouldn’t they put millions into anti-violence programs like Life Camp and Street Corner Resources? Why would you not support them with some of that $78 billion city budget or $142 billion state budget to stop the violence? Why? Because the mayor and the governor do not see it as a priority.”

“You can’t pretend that it is not hard on the streets for the youth,” Williams told the Amsterdam News. “Sometimes there is no one around; they are by themselves. Their parents are working two or three jobs. Sometimes when I am out, I tell them not to hang out on the streets. They say ‘Well, where do you want me to go?’ I say, ‘Good point.’ I have no community centers in my district. No, not one. But we are working on it, though. And I think it is also important to tell them that there are structural deficits that have you in this position.”

Williams did not discount the significance of “self-responsibility,” however. “We can hold them accountable for their actions while we try to fix things for them,” he said. “There are programs. We go out with Occupy the Corners, we give out job listings and we try and provide assistance, but they have to reach out as well.”

Williams stressed, “Programs are there, but they are not culturally significant to them. They are not speaking their language. But we have to work with what we have got. Mayor [David] Dinkins did a great job with Safe Streets, Safe Cities. He sent more police and he opened the Beacon schools and created safe spaces. We know the answer to this. We’ve fixed it before. When immigrants with lighter melanin came, when their children were doing all kinds of craziness, we provided more jobs and we provided education.”

The Flatbush council member said the buck stops with the city and state. While he acknowledged that Mayor Bill de Blasio “tripled the money for youth jobs, [Gov. Andrew Cuomo] provided funding for gun violence work for everyone in the state except New York city. So he’s gonna come back down to New York City, having failed us in housing, not doing what he should do on gun violence and reversing the SAFE Act, and expect New York City folk to support him?”

The Amsterdam News asked the speakers what they would say directly to those involved in gun violence.

“It’s rough,” replied Adams. “We want to ask them to be stronger than the situation that they are in. They don’t have to go to the negativity. They don’t have to go to guns. Use that energy to come to my office, to stand outside screaming and yelling about the situation that they are in.”

The Amsterdam News suggested to Adams that the youth involved in the gun violence probably would not be coming to Borough Hall. So what would he say to them?

“We tell him, or her, that there are resources are all over the city,” Adams responded. “Find a local organization or group right in the community. Many of the churches have anti-violence programs. Or start one.”

The borough president cited a young man from Bed-Stuy’s Brevort Houses, who goes into the courtyard on the weekend and mentors a group of approximately 15 young men who gather to talk “about employment, how to dress for success, how to tie a tie.”

“It can start with one person,” Adams said, “reaching out to a small group, and empowering them, handing out applications for city jobs, talking about their issues. The young person who doesn’t want to come downtown, you don’t have to. Hang around your corner, put a chair there, and as people come by have these application for city jobs, and say, ‘Hey, you graduated from high school. Here, take this exam, even if you don’t want to be a motor man or a conductor. Take the test anyway because you don’t know where your life is going to lead. Here’s a job application.’ So it is all about doing your thing in your space.”

Barron added, “We need to enhance social, cultural, social and mental heath programs. I told Bloomberg when he was mayor to take a mere $200 million and in every crime-rate area, build a $20 million four-story multiservice youth center, with an auditorium, gymnasium, recording studio and youth entrepreneurial program, where young people can get start-up money to begin their own businesses.

“I am building a $8 million youth center in East New York, and a Boys and Girls Club with the Livonia Housing Project. So I know it can be done. The mayor and governor both have capital budgets.”

Barron said he would tell young people looking for something to do “to go to Man Up!, or Operation Power, or East New York Restoration Local Development Corporation, where executive director Melinda Perkins can help them get a job or start their own businesses. She has got entry-level to management jobs for 1,500 young people.”

Activist artist Danny Simmons stated, “In our community, gun violence has to be dealt with. Our children are killing and being killed by each other, and our voices by and large are not focused enough on this issue. There is no easy solution to the problem, but one thing I do know is that we have to become more involved in our communities. It’s not enough to just be a resident, pay taxes and bills and hope it doesn’t happen to a child we know.”