Public Advocate Applauds Federal Action To Combat Gun Violence

April 8th, 2021

Press Release

"I thank the Biden-Harris administration for their commitment today to the lifesaving work of dedicated violence interrupters. Combating gun violence is an effort that requires action at all levels, from intervention in the streets to investment by City Hall, the State Capitol, and now, the White House.

"The plague of gun violence in our country, one only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has always been driven by two factors: supply and demand. The access to guns, and the underlying roots of violence. Major federal legislative action to combat supply has always stalled - no matter the devastation wrought by shootings - because of powerful lobbies and cowardly politicians. To that end, executive action on ghost guns is meaningful, if minimal, progress. But the commitments today to embracing and expanding community violence intervention programs should have a powerful impact on demand.

"Incorporating community violence intervention programming across a number of federal agencies is an acknowledgment of the need to redefine public safety beyond law enforcement, to recognize the intersectionality of the issues at the core of community violence, and sends a strong message about combatting gun violence as a public health crisis moving forward.

"What began in pilot programs, localized in target neighborhoods and surrounded by widespread skepticism, now has federal support after its success in helping to bring violence to historic lows pre-pandemic. As shootings are spiking in New York City and nationwide, it is critical that we don't simply return to a level of violence that can be 'normalized,' but keep pushing to not only reduce violence but advance peace."

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