Gun violence in Philadelphia has manifested itself most recently by the shooting of Philadelphia officer Moses Walker. Walker is the fourth officer to be killed in 2012. The city has united to find new solutions and implement safety measures for citizens and officers alike.
Walker’s death ignited legislature and community involvement groups to explore tighter gun enforcement laws, increase rewards for witnesses, and measures to reduce violent crimes in general. Philadelphia’s current homicide rate is 20 killings per 100,000 people, with 360 killings in 2011. Officers note that the prevailing movement against violence requires strong community support and zero-tolerance towards crime.
Several other gun-related deaths in recent months have traumatized the nation, such as the devastating shooting on July 20th in Aurora Colorado, where James Holmes opened fire on moviegoers at the premier showing of The Dark Night Rises. Twelve people were killed and fifty-eight were wounded.
The shooting to follow on August 5th in a Wisconsin Sikh temple killed seven people. The final ruling in the case determined that this was an act of terrorism. On August 24th, nine New York City citizens were wounded while police confronted Jeffery T. Johnson, who shot and killed his co-worker on the sidewalk in front of the Empire State Building.
On August 31st, ex-marine Terrance Tyler shot and killed two co-workers in a Pathmark in Old Bridge New Jersey.
These horrific events have caused the community to respond in favor of tighter gun enforcement laws. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney refrained from endorsing such a statement while they took time off from campaigning to address the tragedies.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter stated, “While the attention of the American people is focused on Aurora and the irrational acts of an armed assailant, I am appalled by the pervasive problem of gun violence in our malls and parks and on the streets of our cities and towns. This truly sad moment should be an occasion to strengthen gun-safety laws, to call for national reform and to better ensure the safety of the public.” The outcry for Philadelphia gun control mirrors that of the nation, as gun related tragedies have taken the lives of 240 people so far in 2012.