This paper addresses gun violence and some potential solutions that could vastly decrease it. The paper is designed in a cause, effect, solution format. It explores the economic effect that gun violence has on the community. It talks about the causes of gun violence: poverty and inequality. The research unfolds on treating gun violence like a disease to have it solved, also to increase opportunities in poor neighborhoods. It analyzes what the center for disease control (CDC) could possibly do in the face of such manifesting issues. The paper then discusses how opportunity can change the violent rates in low income neighborhoods. it looks at these already up and running solutions then explores the opportunity of impact it could have locally. We see that interpreters (treating gun violence like a disease) drops shootings by seventy three percent. We also see Dorothy Stoneman, the founder of Youth build, talks how she sees change in increasing opportunity for the youth.
Keywords: Gun violence, poverty, Inequality
“…. A black person living in an urban area is almost 500 times more likely to be killed by everyday gun violence than by terrorism” (The Conversation). Most seventeen-year old’s in a poor black neighborhood, are afraid to go outside. Afraid that their life will lose its meaning at zero reasoning, and the only explanation that their mother will get is “sorry ma’am, wrong place, wrong time.” They are a statistic, a calculated percentage in a database at a research center. The fear that is expressed by these researchers, public officials, and health professionals is the fear that real life individuals live every day they step into the pavement of their poverty-stricken, neighborhood, in Dade County. To reduce local firearm violence in Miami Dade county, local and state-level policy-makers and each residing citizen must realize that unequal economic opportunity; poverty, is undeniably a root cause of gun violence. Secondly, we must recognize that we are in times of crisis. Gun violence a fast spreading epidemic, and it is crucial that we treat it as such. It is paramount that we do this efficiently in the instance that we are serious on eradicating gun violence from our streets.
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Cmpared to other developed countries gunviolence seems to soley be an american problem. When comparing the rate of gun related deaths in countries like Canada, United Kingdom and Canada is between 0.03-0.5, In the U.S., that rate is 2.98, almost 6 times higher than the other countries. In some cities, compared to the national rate, the rates are almost ten times that number. According to statistics gatheres by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIJP), 85 people in the U.S. are killed everyday in firearm-related incidents. The most recent available NCIJP data (2007) identified more than 31,000 firearm-related deaths in the U.S
Poverty causes Gun violence
“Poverty and inequality should be blamed for America’s gun violence” (Gary Younge). Living in a country where capitalism is its very infrastructure, having poverty be lifted, as a solution to gun violence; is problematic and controversial. Quoting Kevin Shird “If people are violent, it’s usually because they are poor, because when you are poor, your opportunities to escape poverty are exceptionally limited”(Shird, Kevin, 2017) In both the United States and globally, gun violence is strongly correlated with both poverty and inequality. According to an Article written by Lauren Kirchner “It’s poverty, not the teenage brain that causes youth crime.”(Kirchner Lauren, 2015) When teens go to school and they see other kids with cars, and expensive clothing, they are easily envious and then become ambitious towards these material things, this causes them to resort to a life of crime. For example, in the recent case three teens got arrested for shop lifting on the tenth of August. Also, recently in Miami Florida four teens got arrested for stealing a brand-new pickup truck when the accused, Joseph Phanor, was asked why he did it, he admitted to trying to make up for what he doesn’t have. “ I believe that having access to guns gives you the element to commit gun violence and poverty are the motivation” (Andrae Kirk). The truth of the matter is that if you have an object that is supposed to be used for self defense if needed, and take it where there are no other resources or positive entertainment it will become the start of something negative. In poverty, there is easy access to things that are illegal or cause harm because people live off those certain things. The people that live in poverty are always surrounded by guns and drugs so if they come in contact with ethier or they would feel like its okay to have it or use it because there are surrounded by it 24/7. it becomes a lifestyle and people get so use to it that it is extreamly hard to remove it from poverty. It is harder for something to become a violence if you cant get access to it, so thats where the motivation plays a role and it not only affects your life life but the others that are around you.
Inequality causes gun violence
In a graph that maps ineuality in comparison to murder rates the united satets has ridiculously high numbers. Taking it from a state level, California, Mississippi, Alabama, Illinois and Louisiana have the highest murder rates in the United States, in that camparison they are also the most unequal states in the country
Even accounting for poverty, studies have found that the greater the disparity among household incomes, the higher the homicide rate is. Florida’s Miami area accounts for a significant number of the city’s homicides. The rates of violent crime are a mirror in any community, and for American neighborhoods like Miami, the reflection is not good. It suffers from skyrocketing unemployment and the highest number of foreclosures in the city. (Rabin, Charles, 2017)
A mounting body of evidence is suggesting that income inequality erodes social cohesion and trust and contributes to a breakdown in the fabric of the community. Extreme inequality has been identified as causing humility and loss of face, particularly among young males. These in turn can contribute to ‘competitive aggression,’ domestic abuse and violent crime.
Gun violence effects the economy
Gun violence has an economic impact on the community research done by the Urban Institute finds that across five cities, gun violence surges slowed neighborhood home value appreciation by ~4 percent. Aimee Picchi wrote that, “gun violence in the U.S. also has an enormous financial cost.” Gun violence is rippling through the economy in the form of lost wages. Gun violence is rippling through the economy in the form of medical bills The injured people cause insurance to increase because of Gun violence Healthcare becomes more expensive for every individual. Gun violence is rippling through the economy in the form of higher taxes for law enforcement because gun violence is so prevalent we need more law enforcement on the ground. Taxpayers may experience a percentage of higher state tax due to having to pay more law enforcement officers.
Findind solutions, through opportunity
Poverty is the actual cause of gun violence, it’s a cause and effect link, getting rid of the effect means efficaciously eliminating the cause. Reducing gun violence in Miami Dade county is the equivalent of reducing poverty and increasing opportunity. Dorothy Stoneman, the founder and CEO of YouthBuildUSA, sanguinely says; “If America’s leaders would invest in proven pathways out of poverty, we could radically diminish violence in [all] America.” In her article that, juxtaposes poverty, opportunity along with gun violence, Stoneman classifies poverty as one of the root sources of violence, especially in low income neighborhoods.
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They felt supported on a path to education, employment. “If you had seen what I have seen for 35 years you would know that investment in opportunities for them to find their best selves is the right thing to do” says Dorothy Stoneman; this is working, it has been for 35 years according to Dorothy Stoneman. Through YouthBuild, “They had participated in building affordable housing for homeless” she says. Dorothy has seen tremendous change. Does it hurt to take notes from leaders who have already put this into application? Reducing poverty in Miami Dade County will dramatically reduce gun violence.
A Public Health Crisis
To further develop this perspective, its fundamental to this argument that the assertion be made that “Gun violence certainly has a mortality and injury rate that puts it up there with big-league public health issues” (Danielle, Ofri, 2016). Pragmatically gun violence is regarded as a “pressing issue” or a “criminal justice problem” the view of gun violence as a public health crisis was so irrational and inflammatory that the Dickey amendments were passed, and Congress reduced the CDCs budget by the exact amount it takes for these researches. According to a Miami Herald article written by Jeffrey Pierre “Black nurses throughout Miami-Dade County have declared a public health crisis here.”
The public health crisis is a specific one, the crisis is here, in our community. We want to stop gun violence, we should stop treating it as a common day to day issue. If this were a fast spreading disease, we would have researchers working restlessly on a cure and putting up posters, sending text alerts, and even television commercials on prevention and protection. It’s the majority opinion that gun violence deaths are unpreventable and unpredictable, however if gun violence is looked at from the point of view of an infectious disease, your resolution may change.
Infectious disease Doctor who; for 15 years had been advocating for the classification of gun violence as a public health issue, Gary Slutkin, gave his opinion on the matter during an interview with Dr. Gupta, the CNN Chief medical respondent. Slutkin believes an answer comes in the form of “interrupters,” Interrupters are trained health professionals who act as mediators and go to the epicenter of violent behavior. After seven Chicago area communities established interrupters in the early 2000s, a National Institute of Justice evaluation found shootings dropped by up to 73%. (Slutkin, Gary 2016) A seventy-three percent drop in shootings is not just luck, this means effective work. This great percentage of drops in shootings is due to a working solution. A successful attempt that severely and precisely targets the disease and cures it by an immense 73%. That’s an effective antibiotic. Vowing to the reduction and potential eradication of gun violence in Miami Dade County we must treat it as a critical condition. We are the emergency room, and gun violence is our first patient, by doing so we, as a community, could potentially see results equivalent to Chicago, or even better results in our town.
In Summation the primary solutions to the issues we are facing as, residents of Miami Dade county regarding local firearm violence can be solved by offering opportunities to our young, giving them the economic insurance to go forward, treating gun violence as a disease, focusing on finding its cure, are the leading ways to reduce local firearm violence in Miami Dade county, and ways to do so efficaciously. We cannot wait on our “Calvary” to do something; kids are still dying in our district. It isn’t out of our hands, we are overwhelmingly capable. If the Young are the future, why are they not protected? If they aren’t, human race is doomed to extinction.
- Green, Nadege. “Study: Gun Violence In Miami-Dade Disproportionately Affects Young Black Men.” WLRN, wlrn.org/post/study-gun-violence-miami-dade-disproportionately-affects-young-black-men.
- Gupta, Dr. Sanjay. “Gupta: Epidemic of Gun Violence Is Treatable.” CNN, Cable News Network, 16 Feb. 2018, www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/health/gupta-stopping-violence/index.html.
- Knopov, Anita, and Michael Siegel. “Gun Violence in the US Kills More Black People and Urban Dwellers.” The Conversation, 15 Mar. 2018, theconversation.com/gun-violence-in-the-us-kills-more-black-people-and-urban-dwellers-86825
- Niiler, Eric. “The CDC Can’t Fund Gun Research. What If That Changed?” Wired, Conde Nast, 7 Mar. 2018, www.wired.com/story/what-if-the-cdc-could-fund-gun-research/.
- Ofri, Danielle. “How Treating Gun Violence as an Epidemic Can Help Us Fight It.” Slate Magazine, 7 Apr. 2017, www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2017/04/treating_gun_violence_as_an_epidemic_will_help_stop_it.html.
- Shird, Kevin. “Violence Is a Symptom of Poverty, Not a Cause.” The Hill, 9 Mar. 2017, thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/crime/322568-violence-is-a-symptom-of-poverty-not-a-cause.
- Special, Jeffrey Pierre. “Black Nurses Say Killings of Young People a ‘Public Health Crisis’.” Miamiherald, Miami Herald, www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-gardens/article63302927.html
- Stoneman, Dorothy. “If We Don’t Address Poverty, We Won’t Reduce Gun Violence.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 1 July 2013, www.huffingtonpost.com/dorothy-stoneman/poverty-gun-violence_b_3528888.html.
- Younge, Gary. “More than Just the Guns: Poverty and Inequality Should Be Blamed for America’s Gun Violence.” Salon, 25 Oct. 2016, www.salon.com/2016/10/26/more-than-just-the-guns-poverty-and-inequality-should-be-blamed-for-americas-gun-violence_partner/.
- Zebib, Laura, et al. “Geo-Demographics of Gunshot Wound Injuries in Miami-Dade County, 2002–2012.” BMC Public Health, BioMed Central, 8 Feb. 2017
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