Gun violence has always been a worrying problem in America and while many experts advocate for restrictions on gun licenses, very few imagine the actual impact that gun violence has on the witnesses and the families, friends and communities of shooting victims.
High-Profile Gun Violence Cases In Philadelphia
A Philadelphia-resident Michael Hagan Jr was shot to death on July 1st, 2012 outside the cemetery of St. Peter’s Church in Society Hill, his killers have not yet been found. His devastated parents continue their quest for justice up to three years later, offering a reward of up to $50,000 for any information on the shooting that fateful night. They walk through Society Hill, South Philadelphia, Queen Village and Center City every few months seeking information, remaining steadfast in their commitment to catching their son’s killer — their lives forever changed after one fateful shooting. They aren’t the only victims.
A caseworker Theresa Hunt was simply doing her job when her patient Richard Plotts gunned her down after an unusual gunfight in a gun-free hospital in July 2014. Theresa, a Philadelphia resident accompanied Plotts to an appointment with a psychiatrist when he opened fire and mortally wounded her. Her distraught family continues to hope that the killer is brought to justice after the senseless killing of an innocent victim.
Shooting Cases in Late 2015 in Philadelphia
Gun violence is certainly a problem in Philadelphia with new shooting cases coming up almost every month.
- Philadelphia ended the year 2015 with two shooting incidents on New Year’s Eve injuring three women in the process.
- In early December 2015, four people were shot in three different shooting incidents in Philadelphia.
- In November 2015, five people were shot in four different incidents in and around the city.
Illegal Gun Sales Availability
According to federal agents, guns are sold in almost every neighborhood in the city with many sales completed inside cars, in business centers or even out in the open.
Raids conducted have led agents to several homes where guns are sold like they are on display at a flea market with a number of guns spread on the table, giving buyers the opportunity to choose what they want. A recent report claims that authorities recovered nearly 3,187 guns from Philadelphia, where at least half the guns were either stolen or were bought. These are alarming statistics by any means.
The Real Impact Of Gun Violence On Society
Gun violence has emerged at the helm of consciousness, but it has concentrated more on regulations for limiting use, rather than addressing the impact that it has on families. The costs of gun violence are more persistent because they affect entire families, communities and children.
Theresa and Michael are just two of hundreds of gun shooting cases in Philadelphia every year, but the impact always remains the same — the emotional upheaval it causes to family and friends is unsurpassable — more so when the member contributes financially to the household. The emotional and financial stress of premature loss has caused several families to even disintegrate after the death of a loved one.
Apart from the emotional and financial stress brought to families of victims, witnesses of gun violence also face a great deal of traumatic stress, many of whom seek professional help for tacking their problems later. Addressing emotional, social and psychological well-being of youngsters and children exposed to gun violence may be complex, but it is necessary to ensure that the problem of gun violence doesn’t have a lasting impact on society. Understanding and tackling the impact of gun violence is just as important as addressing the problem itself in Philadelphia.