Curbing Philadelphia gun violence

Listen 49:30
A woman holds up a picture of a woman as she speaks into several microphones. Three other people with somber faces are visible in the background.

Family members of Tiffany Fletcher, who was shot to death outside Mill Creek Rec Center Friday afternoon, ask witnesses to come forward during a press conference on Sept. 12, 2022, held by the District Attorney's Office. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

More Philadelphians lost their lives to gun violence this week, including Tiffany Fletcher, a mother of three who was killed by a stray bullet while working at a city recreation center. Homicides are at a record high of 386 so far this year, and more than 1,300 people have been injured in shootings. City residents are rightly scared, angry and frustrated, particularly those who live in neighborhoods where most of the violence is occurring.

This hour, we look at the epidemic of gun violence in Philadelphia, discuss the root causes, which solutions work and why, despite an increase in city resources aimed at the problem, the bloodshed continues to rise.

Guests

Kendra Van De Water, Executive Director and Co-founder of YEAHPhilly

Patrick Sharkey, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University

Sammy Caiola, WHYY’s gun violence prevention reporter. @sammycaiola

We recommend

WHYY, ‘It’s long overdue’: Gun violence around Philly rec centers makes updates more urgent, residents say – “Many politicians have raised parks and rec centers up as bastions of safety, but incidents like August’s mass shooting at Shepard Recreation Center have left residents wary, and many are calling for more attention to the city’s public spaces.”

Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly’s gun-violence spending is surging, but many funded programs lack clear goals to show progress – “Some key city-run anti-violence programs, years in, lack required measures and goals to determine whether they are working.”

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