Friday, November 11, 2011

Bronx elected officials searching for a way to stop gun violence

After more senseless shooting in the Bronx, elected leaders and community activists are again trying to figure out how to stop it from happening. 

City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and community activists got together earlier this week in an effort to find ways to fight and prevent gang and gun violence. The meeting was held in response to the shooting Tuesday night that left 4-year-old Cincer Balthazar fighting for his life and another shooting in Bronx Lebanon Hospital.

Jump below for statements from Cabrera, state Sen. Gustavo Rivera and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“We are no longer going to accept these senseless acts of violence,” Cabrera said. “We are outraged and ready to take collective action against gun violence in our community. We are calling on the Bloomberg administration to take immediate action as our communities cannot afford to have continuous violence be a part of their daily lives. We will not stand by as our children and families fall victim to these horrific acts. Today is a step in the right direction, and it is just the beginning of what we hope is the start of a change in our community. 

State Senator Gustavo Rivera issued the following statement in response to the back-to-back shootings in the northwest Bronx:

“It is unacceptable that in the past two days, the northwest Bronx has seen two horrific shootings: one of a four-year old boy on Grand Avenue and the other, a shooting of two innocent bystanders inside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital emergency room. I believe we all have the right to feel safe in our homes, safe in our neighborhoods, at our jobs and in community pillars such as Bronx Lebanon Hospital. We deserve better than to live in fear – to fear walking around in one’s neighborhood in the evening or to fear going to a place where you are supposed to be safe – the hospital. We, as a community, have to demand better and do better.

While we pray for those who have been injured over the last few days, I want to call on community members to take an active role in making our streets safer. That means reporting illegal guns to the police by calling 866-GUN-STOP as part of the ‘Peace in our Streets campaign,’ it means becoming more actively involved in helping keep our streets safe by attending local precinct council meetings to voice concerns and it means demanding more from our government to address issues of gun violence and crime.

I believe this uptick in gun violence only further underscores the need for a crime prevention program in the Bronx. That is why during our next legislative session, I will continue to advocate to bring a program called SNUG (guns spelled backward) to the Northwest Bronx. SNUG is a partnership between community organizations and state law enforcement, with the purpose of working together to prevent gun violence, especially as it relates to retaliation. The program has been effective in neighboring areas such as Yonkers and Mount Vernon and can be an important force to curb violence in the northwest Bronx.”

And Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr:

“I am deeply saddened by last night’s incident on Grand Avenue, where a four-year old boy fell victim to gun violence and is now fighting for his life. My heart goes out to the family as we keep little Cincer Balthazar in our prayers and hope for his quick recovery.  It’s disappointing to see these senseless acts being committed in our borough.  I know I speak for all Bronxites in condemning this despicable, cowardly act. This violence must stop, my office will continue to work to take as many illegal guns off of our streets as we possibly can.

"I urge all Bronxites with knowledge of illegal guns in their community to call 866-GUN-STOP to anonymously report those guns to the police, a program that my office continues to promote through our ‘Peace in our Streets’ campaign,” Diaz said.

More information on the 866-GUN-STOP program can be found at the following link:

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