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January 25, 2023

Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia

Each week we share news from our Center plus updates on gun violence and prevention from our partners at Billy Penn.

Spotlighting our work

Above: Oronde McClain and Maxayn Gooden host our Credible Messenger Film Festival last summer.

Tomorrow night

We’re honored to report PCGVR has been nominated as “Nontraditional News Provider of the Year” in the 2023 Philly News Awards by the Pen and Pencil Club, Philadelphia’s press club. We accept this nomination on behalf of the dozens of gun violence survivors, co-victims and others who have participated in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Winners will be announced tomorrow night. [PCGVR]


Join a discussion Saturday on harmful gun violence reporting with Maxayn Gooden and Oronde McClain from our Center, along with Hanae Mason who led the "Thriving" storytelling initiative at (Time TBD.) Register now. []


Our partners at The Better Lab research team shared the human-centered design methods they used to develop and facilitate our recent Better Gun Violence Reporting Workshop. [@UCSFSurgery]

This semester

Our staffers already have classroom visits scheduled this semester at American University, Swarthmore College and Temple University.

Updates from Billy Penn

  • Billy Penn and WHYY are partnering with CeaseFirePA to host the “100th Mayor: Restoring Safety Forum” in early March. Stay tuned for livestream info. [Billy Penn]

  • A Kensington man was arrested and charged with running a DIY gun-production facility in his home. He had prior convictions, but no background check is needed to buy parts to make ghost guns. Their use has skyrocketed: four years ago Philly police recovered 12 privately-made firearms, vs. 575 last year. [DAO/WHYY/Inquirer$]

  • City departments are upping safety plans and coordination with PPD after a 6-month period that saw a trio of local gov workers — from Parks & Rec, Streets, and the PPA — shot on the job. [The Trace]

  • Students at Swarthmore can take a Gun Violence Prevention course this semester, as part of the Peace and Conflict Studies program. [Swarthmore]

  • Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Mt. Airy and Germantown is inviting mayoral candidates to Saturday virtual prayer sessions to discuss gun violence and other issues. [WHYY]

By the numbers in Philadelphia

  • 37: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 29 the week prior. [City Controller via @PCGVR]

  • 108: Shooting victims this year so far, down 33% vs. this time last year. [PCGVR]

  • 25: Year-to-date homicides, down 34% vs. last year's pace and but up 78% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]

Candidates discuss gun violence prevention

Philly mayoral candidates participated in a forum on gun violence last week. You can watch the whole event below if you don’t mind clicking through some poor audio quality at times. [The Philadelphia Inquirer/6ABC via YouTube]

Philadelphia mayoral candidates talk about gun violence solutions

Local resources

“We are here, ready to walk alongside you on the journey to safety. We have emergency safe havens with security and confidential locations to protect you; transitional housing to help you rebuild; and exceptional legal representation and advocacy – all free of charge. - Women Against Abuse [South Philly Review]

In memoriam

Christopher Davis, 35: “After enrolling in Job Corps, Christopher took various landscaping and retail jobs. He often journaled and wrote about opening a facility to help others struggling with addiction.” [Philadelphia Obituary Project]

Help wanted

Philadelphia’s Rock to the Future “supports positive youth development and economic empowerment through free, student-driven music programs for Philadelphia youth.” And now they are hiring an Anti-Violence Coordinator. []

Solution(s) of the Week

Editorial: Biden should OK gun violence report

“According to four people who served as surgeon general, the time has come for another landmark analysis.”

[Daily Camera]

Covering gun violence

  • More than 80 television news directors and newsrooms attended the Crime Coverage Summit 2023 last week. The president of The Marshall Project discussed five takeaways. Several more session videos are available online. [National Press Foundation/]

  • The Asian American Journalists Association issued Guidance on Covering Violence in the Asian American community following the Monterey Park mass shooting. []

  • Six steps to protect newsroom mental health: Check these takeaways from a recent virtual-town hall hosted by The Journalist’s Resource and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. []

  • Some Philadelphia reporters got Narcan, CPR and Stop the Bleed training last week. [@SamSearles9]

Mapping Police Violence

Police killed 1,185 people in 2022. Black people were 25% of those killed by police in 2022 despite being only 13% of the population. [The Official Mapping Police Violence Database]

Opinion: Curfews for Pittsburgh youth will do more harm than good

“It takes a certain level of delusion to think such a measure will protect our youth rather than leaving them vulnerable to an adverse, potentially fatal encounter with the law.”


Poll results

Voters want Congress to address mass shootings and support a host of public policies aimed at addressing gun violence. []

Viewpoint: Ending The Dangerous Myth That Guns Make Us Safer

“People need to understand the biggest threat of gun-related violence to their family and themselves is the very gun they bring home for protection.”

[The Crime Report]


Get to know us

Better gun violence reporting could enhance public understanding and support for effective programs and policies to prevent shootings and save lives. But what does the most ethical, impactful and empathetic reporting look like? Visit the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting:

Here's what you can do

We are proud of our progress but we have much more work to do. Please consider making a recurring tax-deductible contribution today. Visit: