If only. Unfortunately, it’s just lazy copy writing. [NB: If the NRA would like to create an anti-anti-gun task force task force, we’d be only slightly confused and right behind you.] Here’s the New York City Council’s press release revealing how the duly elected representatives will combat gun violence in the wake of, uh, gun violence:
City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn [above] Announces Taskforce to Combat Gun Violence Taskforce seeks to address epidemic of gun violence in communities throughout the city
City Hall – City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced the creation of the taskforce that will address the issue of youth related gun violence in the city, especially in communities of more color. Council Members Jumaane D. Williams and Fernando Cabrera will serve as Co-Chairs of the taskforce. The Council’s taskforce will work with academic experts, law enforcement and community based groups across the five boroughs to examine the root causes of gun violence, locate resources to combat gun violence and develop additional ways of tackling the problem across the city.
“For too many families across our City, gun violence is an unrelenting fact of life,” said Speaker Quinn. “It’s time for that to change. This task force will help us aggressive combat the issue of gun violence and help engage New Yorkers to take action and stop the violence that is poisoning our communities.”
Council Member Williams stated, “It is long past due that we pull together all resources possible to put an end to the gun violence ravaging our communities. There are New York City’s children’s lives at stake every single day. It should not be acceptable to us that these shootings occur in any community, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or any other characteristic. I look forward to ensuring this task force not only produces a valuable dialogue, but delivers real results in the form of program and policy change to save lives and our children’s futures.”
“Gun violence is a stain on our communities that disproportionately affects neighborhoods of color,” said Council Member Cabrera. “This is an unfortunate reality that many of us have to live with and it is time that we examine this issue deeply and take comprehensive action towards workable solutions. This task force aims to do just that.”
Today’s announcement comes in response to the growing problems of gun violence and illegal handgun ownership. Most recently this past weekend nearly 50 people were shot, three of them fatally. Excluding Labor Day, during the week ending Sunday, 98 people were shot, an increase of more than 45% from the same period last year.
The taskforce continues the past work the City Council and Speaker Quinn have done to combat gun violence and killings in local communities. In 2008, the Council partnered with the Center to Prevent Youth Violence and Jackie Rowe Adams of Harlem Mothers Save to combat the culture of ‘Stop Snitching’ which is a code of conduct that discourages individuals from cooperating with law enforcement, perpetuating violent crime. As a result of the partnership and the Council’s work, a new hotline was implemented in public schools to encourage students to stand together and speak out against violence. Since its inception, 1-866-SPEAK-UP has generated hundreds of calls and texts in New York City to the anti-violence hotline.
Jackie Rowe Adams, of Harlem Mothers Save, voiced her support for today’s taskforce. “It is time we stand up, take back our community and take back our kids. The silence must stop,” said Ms. Adams. “I’m very proud to be a part of this task force and I am ready, willing and able to step up and support whatever the City Council needs on this issue. Speaker Quinn has been working to combat gun violence for a long time, has never let the issue go and I look forward to being a part of the taskforce’s work.”
Dan Gross, CEO and Founder of the Center to Prevent Youth Violence stated, “The Center to Prevent Youth Violence considers Speaker Quinn and the New York City Council very important partners in our efforts to prevent gun violence in New York City. This task force is further demonstration of their deep commitment to the issue. They don’t just talk about solving the problem; they take meaningful action to do something about it. We look forward to working with this task force to identify further solutions that will end gun violence in our communities once and for all.”
The task force will meet in the coming weeks, and will conduct outreach in communities throughout the city, talking to residents about how New Yorkers can work collaboratively in order to reduce gun violence.