HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Local leaders gathered on a street corner in Hartford’s north end Monday morning to discuss approaches to stopping gun violence.
The news conference comes in response to several recent shootings in Hartford. Last week, there were three shootings within 24 hours in the capitol city.
Those three Hartford shootings a week and a half ago left two people dead.
“We’re declaring a state of emergency,” said State Rep. Brandon McGee (D-Hartford), “Here in the state of Connecticut and right here in the city of Hartford.”
McGee organized the press conference and is declaring that emergency after several dangerous weeks of gun violence in Hartford. Marcus Brown hears about all of it while he works at Norris Barbershop.
“It drains you. It drains the community, because everybody outside the community thinks everybody is a bad apple,” said Brown. “One or two bad apples spread. It spreads. It’s terrible.”
Hartford’s Mayor spoke out last week, saying that even though, statistically, shootings are down in the city compared to this time last year, there have still been more than 60 so far in 2019, and that is still too many.
“Not one more,” said Jeremy Stein, executive Director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence. “We cannot deal with this any more.”
Stein added that the problem is not just in Hartford.
“This is happening in New Haven,” Stein said. “This is happening in Bridgeport and we need to put a stop to this today.”
Gun violence is an issue every summer, especially in urban centers. Young people are out of school and tempers can run as hot as the air temperature.
Connecticut officials hosted the gun violence press conference in Hartford at 10 a.m.
Representative McGee is calling for a 3 pronged approach. Number one is rally concerned people. Two is to look into tougher gun laws. Three is to include young people in any decisions.
“We have to make sure that when we implement this plan, many of our young people are a part of this conversation,” said McGee. “So we will be meeting with many of those young people who could help many of us to identify where our challenges are.”
When it comes to giving young people something to do, one speaker said he has talked to experts and having a gym open for just one extra hour a night is enough to significantly reduce the crime rate.
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