Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney
Philadephia's failed Mayor Jim Kenney (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Previous Post
Next Post

In a recent mayoral debate at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Helen Gym, who had been an outspoken opponent of increasing the city’s policing budget in 2020, called gun violence the “single greatest threat to everything that we have ever hoped for in this city.”

Gun violence is ravaging Philadelphia, just as it is Rochester, Indianapolis, Columbus, Louisville, Austin, and six other major cities that suffered record-breaking homicides in 2021—a crisis that shows little sign of waning. Philadelphia has something else in common with those cities: Its officials have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into anti-violence initiatives that have failed to make a dent in the surging levels of violence. It’s a very American approach to a very American problem, as politicians pump money into opaque social initiatives that provide jobs to midlevel bureaucrats who fail to do anything at all.

“Everybody can get a grant, everybody gets paid,” said Jamal Johnson, a former Marine and anti-violence activist in Philadelphia. “It’s the new hustle.” 

In a deeply blue city like Philadelphia, the Democratic primary is the de facto election contest. At St. Joseph’s, the debate was dominated by a single issue as candidates spent two hours explaining to an auditorium of students and city residents how exactly they were going to solve the gun violence epidemic. A number of candidates, including Gym, laid out a strategy to declare a citywide state of emergency, potentially triggering a windfall of state and federal funding to help triage the violence.

Money, however, has not been a problem for the leaders of Philadelphia. Last year, Pennsylvania’s governor peeled off $50 million to stem the violence in Philadelphia. And the outgoing mayor, Jim Kenney, signed off on almost a billion dollars in the city budget to beef up the nation’s fourth-largest police force while also picking up the $208 million tab to support dozens of social services programs tailored to combat Philadelphia’s gun violence.

As gun violence has surged nationwide, dispensing massive sums of money to grassroots anti-violence organizations has become fashionable across all levels of government. The appeal, it seems, is that these feel-good initiatives offer something like the “thoughts and prayers” mantra invoked after mass shootings—a way for city officials to demonstrate that they’ve done something even if it has no measurable impact on the problem at hand. …

Part of the problem in Philadelphia boils down to the government’s urgent need to spend money to show that it’s “doing something” despite a lack of viable programs that meet the city’s bare minimum requirements for funding. Several of the programs founded in the wake of the current mayor’s first major funding campaign against gun violence in 2020 are still waiting to launch, as they use their grants to hire staff, build offices, and pen their mission statements. When one of the mayor’s subsequent campaigns sought to spend $22 million on new grassroots programs, only $13.5 million could be handed out because so many of the organizations that applied were incapable of intervening in crisis hotspots or working directly with the population most likely to commit shootings. …

With four months to go until the Democratic primary, it’s possible that more than a few of the candidates currently in the running will decide to drop out. No doubt they’ve all heard the lamentations of outgoing Mayor Jim Kenney. After two police were shot at a holiday event this past Fourth of July, Kenney told reporters he’s all but counting down the days until he’s out of office. “I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time,” Kenney said. “I’ll be happy when I’m not here, when I’m not mayor, and I can enjoy some stuff.”

It can’t make the job any easier to know that the anti-gun violence programs the city has poured money into haven’t even begun to make the city safer.

— Sean Cooper in The Anti-gun Violence Hustle

Previous Post
Next Post

56 COMMENTS

  1. I chuckle every time I see a violence interrupter get caught with drugs and guns as if it was unexpected. Almost always an ex con too

    • Never mind the criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, vehicles, etc. It’s much more about circle back Feel-Good Social Spending playing a large part in keeping the democRat Party campaign coffers filled.

  2. Maybe use all that anti violence money to build a couple of new prisons to house all the bangers and other criminals that are the source of the crime in perpetuity.

  3. As with anything a federal/state/county/city government is involved with, it takes a lot of money to do nothing.

    • They excel at spending (wasting) money above all else. Then they brag about it every chance they get. Listen to any Cali politician brag about securing more money for “education.” Then, look at the results. Spoiler alert: not good. The more they spend, the worse it gets.

      • Those hot pretzels too. 🤤
        Used to hit the Philly factory outlets before Christmas each year back in the late ’80s.
        Delivered right to your car at red lights. 👍

    • Duh. It’s Gang violence not “gun violence”.A shame you Leftard’s steered Philadelphia into Chiraq’s sister city🙄

  4. Is there any choice left for Philadelphians other than vigilantism? Takes an outlaw sometimes to catch an outlaw. .45acp is a sight cheaper than all those do nothing feels good programs.

    • Honestly not really, they have seen a lot more justified homicide to go with the pistol permit boost the last 4 or so years. Most everyone I care about moved out but a few still work there and plan their routes carefully.

    • In the main business, tourist/nightlife, and university areas, there isn’t much of any violence. You just don’t see it day to day. So the people who pay most of the income tax don’t care (and are happy to feel smugly self-righteous about their “progressive” politics). The City government doesn’t really care as long as they keep getting elected and keep their snouts in the trough. And I’m sure all these NGOs and non-profits who supply the “violence interventions” donate to the politicians who keep them in jobs. Meanwhile some low income areas of the City are racked with violence. And those low income areas keep on voting for the corrupt people who have been running things in Philly forever. I don’t pretend to understand all the dynamics, but it’s profoundly dysfunctional.

  5. Helen Gym … called gun violence the ‘single greatest threat to everything that we have ever hoped for in this city.’

    Newsflash: destroyed nuclear families and wholesale rejection of orthodox Judeo-Christian values are the ACTUAL greatest threat to a thriving society.

  6. Uncommon, that’s the everything we hoped for she was talking about. On another note does anyone know anything about Jordon Perkins? Is he ligit or just phishing?

  7. “If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim.” Jeff Cooper

    It would seem that the US population in the last 4 or 5 years is coming around to Coopers opinion, according to the NSSF numbers on the monthly sales of firearms, and the growing number of States that have adopted some form of Permitless Carry and various other legislation that enables citizens to defend themselves.

  8. Perhaps Pennsylvania should follow California’s gun laws if they want to reduce gun violence.

    Gun violence across America requires stronger action

    Research indicates that California’s many gun laws have proven quite effective in reducing the number of deaths caused by firearms. According to the gun safety group Brady, California’s rate of firearm mortality rate declined by 55% between 1993 and 2017, compared to a decrease of 14% across the rest of the US in the same time period. Advocates credit the decline to California’s gun regulations, a number of which went into effect in the early 1990s.

    “California has transformed itself in the past generation,” said Ari Freilich, state policy director at Giffords. “People came together time and again to strengthen gun safety laws [and] learn from tragedy.”

    California now has 107 gun laws on the books, more than any other US state. In addition to the bans on military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, California has a ban on gun silencers. Like 18 other US states, California has a “red flag law” that allows authorities to seize guns owned by those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. In situations of domestic violence or workplace harassment, California residents can petition a court for a gun violence restraining order to have firearms taken away from their partner or employee.

    Of course California’s gun laws are weakened by ignorant Red Hillbilly states with lax gun laws (and higher homicide rates) that ship in second hand guns to California via the “Iron Pipeline” . Without a Federal Law mimicking California’s already very successful laws the “gun problem” in the U.S. will only continue to get worse, which of course will result in a panic situation where draconian gun bans will unfortunately and inevitably take place.

    • What California are you talking about? LA county is a war zone. Why don’t you move to Ca? I’m sure the good people of Ohio will be all for it. Got people shitting on the sidewalk and the pd take away the business owner that sprayed him with the hose. Just the place for you d.

    • Yep, those CA laws are making mass shootings nearly extinct.

      Wait … what?

      California’s Mass Public Shooting rate is much higher than Texas’ or the rest of the United States

      “… the per capita rate of mass public shootings in California is always greater than the rate for the rest of the country. The rate has also been consistently lower in Texas, which gun control groups give an “F” grade for its gun control laws. From 2010 on, California’s per capita rate of mass public shootings was 43% higher than the rate in Texas and 29% higher than in the rest of the United States. Since 2020, the rate in California is 276% higher than in Texas and 100% higher than in the rest of the U.S.”

      https://crimeresearch.org/2023/01/californias-mass-public-shooting-rate-is-much-higher-than-texas-or-the-rest-of-the-united-states/

      • To man with no name

        Californians 25% Less Likely to Die in a Mass Shooting
        From the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC): “Compared to citizens of other states, Californians are about 25% less likely to die in mass shootings. Between 2019 and 2021, the state’s annual mass shooting homicide rate of 1.4 per one million people was lower than the national average of 1.9.”

        https://www.gov.ca.gov/2022/06/02/fact-sheet-californias-gun-safety-policies-save-lives-provide-model-for-a-nation-seeking-solutions/

        AND BY THE WAY YOUR SOURCE WAS JOHN LOTT THE GREAT CHARLATAN THAT HAS BEEN DEBUNKED BY EVERY PROFESSIONAL WHO HAS STUDIED CRIME WITH GUNS. LOTT’S BOOK IS ALSO A FARCE AND HAS BEEN DISPROVEN.

        • You’ve been debunked time and again here dacian. Proven to be a mentally ill fascist by your own comments.

          And yet here you are. Still claiming credibility where none exists.

        • Details from the lying Governor of CA, Gavin Newsome (site quoted in dacian’s post):

          “In 2021, California was ranked as the #1 state for gun safety by Giffords Law Center …”

          Giffords Law Center.

          “Since Early 1990s, California Cut Its Gun Death Rate in Half — From Brady California”

          Brady California.

          “Californians 25% Less Likely to Die in a Mass Shooting — From the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)”

          Public Policy Institute of California.

          “ICYMI, Via The Mercury News: California laws would have ensnared Texas school gunman”

          This statement does not appear in the Mercury News article — it’s manufactured.

          The title of the piece is
          “Uvalde shooting: Here’s how different California and Texas are on guns”

          https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/05/26/california-laws-would-have-ensnared-texas-uvalde-school-gunman/

          I have one question and I already know the answer:

          How do laws prevent criminals from criminaling?

        • @ dacian
          Those articles are just more lies by CA politicians and socialist, progressive marxist democrat communists. But since you believe any and all of them you’re blind to the truth.
          You’ll even obey them when they tell you to jump of the cliff with the rest of blind leftists. I’ll wager you even took the “vaccine”
          Tttttttttt…….

    • Lol the Philly criminals don’t even follow the few restrictions that PA has what makes you think any laws will begin to be followed by them when we have over a century of evidence to the contrary. But yes yes focus on the objective of control and ignore the unwillingness to actually enforce the laws that aren’t being followed in the first place.

    • dacian the demented dips***,

      Why, because violent crime in KKKalifornia continues to increase, at or above the national rate of increase??? Is THAT your idiot argument??? Or do you even know what argument you are ATTEMPTING to make??

      Are KKKalifornia’s insane, unconstitutional ‘gun laws’ effective?? Give me cites and show your work. Are they NOT working? Then why emulate them?

      You remain too incredibly stupid to insult.

    • Yep a state that just had “TWO MASS SHOOTINGS” according to you and your MARXIST allies!!!

      It seems you have “AMNESIA”!!!!

    • dacian, the DUNDERHEAD, how many times do you have to be told that an inanimate object can’t commit violence? How about those mass shootings in California? If their “gun control” laws are so great why are they having so much trouble?
      Please do us all a favor and don’t cite your Left Wing anti gun radical sources? They are chock full of distortions.

  9. Well, for starters, gun violence is not ravaging Philadelphia or any place else.

    Secondly, the single biggest American problem is leftist progressive Democrats.

    Third, these high dollar programs are never going ti make these cities safer. what WILL make them safer is for the elected officials to care enough to keep the criminals behind bars and stop harassing law abiding citizens.

    • Locking up criminals in Philly, which whether people like to hear this or not, are predominately dark skinned, is not a resume enhancer for a DNC politician.

      So, there it is. it makes more political sense to do “feel good” spending that wont work, than to fight crime with police and jails, which will work.

      • OMG that’s racist … but true! 🙂 Crack down on the criminals, and most of the criminals will be of a particular demographic, because that particular demographic is the source of most criminals.

        Can’t say that, of course, let alone formulate policy around it. The last time that was done was the nineties, and it worked. Crime plummeted with three strikes laws and more prisons.

  10. Spending those state funds on jails and prisons have a better return on investment while also employing those in union trade construction jobs.

    Of course the core constituency of the democrat party is violent felons so this is low on the list of “intervention” strategies.

  11. They’re wankers. Not nearly enough money being spent. “A California task force studying the long-term effects of slavery and systemic racism on black residents in the state has estimated a whopping $569 billion in reparations is owed to the descendants of enslaved people, according to a report.

    The nine-member panel concluded that black Californians whose ancestors were in the US in the 19th century are due $223,200 each due to housing discrimination practices utilized from 1933 to 1977, the New York Times reported.”

    • I’m BLACK! I’m Black!!!! I’m a brown haired Blue Eye’s ALBINO BLACK! and I wan my rep-a-ration’z now’b mf’er! Dacian tell ’em we wuz kidnapped, putta n chainz and shipped over to this terrible country to be’s enslaved by doez whitez peoples…my ship happened to b a carnival cruize line,bbbu but but de lines were really long waitin’ at duh buffet..I wuz tram-e-tizes man! I couldn getz no crack! nuthin’ dey wanna me to gives up my GAT’s!
      Honestly if the stoopid Californicator’s give these people reperations in the large sums they are talking about, there WILL be a true second Civil War. America is not perfect. White people are not perfect. But, the blacks and the Dim’s, Leftists, Pol’s are just fucking crazy. They want Anarchy, they pray for Violence, Do you people really see what they are proposing for our future. Ban’s on Bullets, MSR ban’s, Now today was announced a “Shadow Ban” on Body Armor (Spartan Armor Systems)!! This is OUTRAGEOUS! Let’sjust turn all of California into a glass field w/ prior warning to the PoTG’s still living there. We could use a very intricate code almost IMPOSSIBLE to figure out! so they will understand……. GET THE FUCK OUT WE ARE GOING TO NUKE IT IN 30 days! Something that will baffel a demoncrat. They want un-armored, defensless shepple, take away our SSI, enslave US ! and they think what? We are just going to take it? Now be good little White people, take off all your clothes, jewelry and such and get in line for a detox SHOWER!!!!!!! Um, nope! Not going to happen Asshole. California causes cancer ! Is a Cancer! and should be eradicated! Lock the gates surrounding all gubermen’ buildin’s and gas them! Go to blue state capitols and fence them IN ! Let the food run out and sell tickets ! kind of like a reverse Rollerball, Gladiator movie. See them regress to the point of canabalization! (It’s not like we would have to wait very long anyway)..Pretty soon you will see a mass exodus of these blue meanies like Houcul (whatever), Beetle juice, Nuisance etc run for their lives! We could bet on “Prikster: When will he vapor-lock because he didn’t get his daily triple Kelbasa fix! It would be quite the show! Demigeddon on Netflix. We could play Counrty/Western music 24/7 over all cell phones till the last one jumped of the Golden gate bridge! MASS ENTERTAINMENT.
      Thanks, I feelz betta.

  12. The government does more violence to the people than anyone, including those who carry for self defense.

    Biden’s and the Marxocrat policies are creating overwhelming and intense violence for his open borders policy. Sex trafficking and Fentanyl placed into pill form pretending to be Rx medication is the violence that Biden, Soros, etc is creating with the cartels.

    • Amen brother! I spent a career in the Service of this Nation and there’s no damn pencil neck with money going to take my guns….Good people don’t kill innocent people….we have a conscious….these brainwashed thugs don’t….that’s the difference…..we have a moral compass that keeps us on the straight and narrow…that’s where these wealthy clowns need to spend their money helping people with issues before they become disastrous…but that’s not their real real agenda for trying to take our guns…..it’s just a cover….always has been.

  13. It’s the same lowlife thugs that cause the problems with guns…..it’s never a responsible gun owner….I’ve got news for Biden and Bloomberg and all the rest of the fools out there: You can kiss our big fat asses, because you’ll never get our guns…Come Hell or High Water, we’ll keep our Right to Bear Arms for the self protection of our homes and families….End of Story….How do I know that, because “WE HAVE” an 8 Million Man, Patriot Army that will never allow the Scumbags to succeed…..Ever. We don’t give a rats ass whether you have a Million bucks or a Trillion bucks….it makes no difference….it’s not going to happen!!!!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here