Squirrel Hill synagogue hosts forum on gun violence
Holding gun owners responsible for reporting lost and stolen weapons, instituting universal background checks and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines were among the recommendations offered as solutions to gun violence during a forum in Squirrel Hill on Monday night.
“Stop the Killing — A Forum on Ending Gun Violence” drew nearly 150 people to the Temple Sinai synagogue.
Richard Carrington, executive director of the community group Voices Against Violence, used his personal experiences to help illustrate the toll gun violence has had on the community.
“Since 2000, I have been to 164 funerals of young black men that I have known personally,” Carrington said. “Of the 164 funerals ... not one of those young men was killed with a legal gun. They were not able to track it back to anyone and not able to verify where those guns came from.”
Dr. Jennifer Wolford of the Child Advocacy Center at Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville discussed the enormity of the problem, saying that about 17,000 children suffer nonfatal gun wounds each year, according to the Children's Defense Fund.
Wolford cited 2009 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found 2,251 children — six each day — died from gun violence in the United States.
Her personal encounters with children who were victims of gun violence include treating a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself in the face with a handgun in the home of a baby-sitter, and a 9-year-old boy who was accidentally shot in the abdomen when his 17-year-old brother removed a handgun from his waistband.
Kerry O'Donnell, president of the Falk Foundation, which has been studying incidences of gun violence, made a case for enacting laws that hold gun owners responsible for properly securing their weapons by noting that many gun deaths occur with weapons that are easily accessible to children or are stolen from homes and cars.
“We believe that the silver bullet here is to hold gun owners more responsible,” she said.
Several public officials, including state Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, city Councilmen Bill Peduto and Bruce Kraus and city Controller Michael Lamb, were on hand to outline efforts at the state and local level to address gun violence.
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mother, baby found dead in Millvale apartment
- Weather continues to cause crashes, public transportation delays
- Loose barges on Monongahela River highlight woes of winter’s end
- 100 without water in Baldwin Borough and Brentwood, repairs hampered by cold
- Minority employment report: Diversified workforce lacking in Western Pa.
- Mt. Lebanon deer-culling corrals sprayed with urine, repellent
- Pittsburgh chess tournament likely to include pair of grandmasters
- 4 World War II veterans from Western Pa. honored by French government
- ‘Bus rapid transit’ link from Oakland to Downtown slow to actualize
- Federal jury says gas company shorted owners on royalties
- Power outage shutters several Pitt campus buildings