Moore: Comprehensive Approach Required To Stem Gun Violence

From mayoral candidate State Senator Marilyn Moore:

Years ago, my brother got into an argument with someone on Stratford Avenue, here in Bridgeport. What the disagreement was about hardly matters today; what matters is that my brother realized it was not worth it, and decided to walk away. He was shot in the back while walking away. A murder, another one, in the streets of our city.

As a mother, sister and friend to so many people in our city, not a day goes by that I do not worry that someone I love will be in the wrong place at the wrong time and that a life will be cut short by another person wielding a gun. I know many in our community carry this same worry around each day.

My story, the story of my family, is hardly rare or unusual. Nearly every Bridgeport resident has felt the impact of gun violence. It’s a constant drip of tragedy and trauma that permeates almost every corner of our city.

The impact of gun violence in our community is broad, complex, pervasive. Crime and violence exact a high cost on children. Research has shown that children growing up in high-violence neighborhoods suffer from the same post traumatic stress disorder symptoms that haunt too many of our war veterans. Living in constant fear takes a toll, visible even in education. Kids often struggle to concentrate in school because they are traumatized by violence.

The effects of gun violence are also felt in our local economy when businesses choose not to invest in our city. Bloomberg calculates that gun violence costs every Chicago household about $2,500 a year. In Bridgeport, the vacant lots and empty storefronts suggest a similar impact.

Urban gun violence is complex, with many causes. To address the violence, Bridgeport needs a comprehensive approach that includes both short-term, immediate measures to improve safety in our city while we also address its root causes with long-term, evidence-based solutions.

The first step is to restore trust in our Bridgeport Police Department. The Bridgeport Police Department is stretched too thin and its leadership has not been able to readily tackle the challenges it has faced. If we want to increase public safety and restore trust in our law enforcement, then we need to better train law enforcement to engage productively with our neighbors. Ensuring safe communities is a matter of social justice–and that requires a police department that is up for the job.

We must look beyond policing, however. Violence is in many ways a contagious disease–people exposed to violence are more likely to engage in violence. It is imperative that we stop the epidemic of violence in our communities by grappling with the issues that lead people down a violent path in the first place.

As a state senator, I formed an urban gun violence task force and will be working with experts from across the state to find proven solutions for keeping guns out of our communities. But we cannot and will not stop there. Every member of our community must be involved in finding solutions today to the myriad problems that lead to gun violence.

We have to work with the business community to help create jobs with real living wages for Bridgeport residents. We must provide our public schools with the resources they need to give our children a true pathway to opportunity. We need to strengthen early childhood education and intervention programs, the most effective in improving school achievement. We need to provide affordable, clean, safe housing, and ensure public housing has good access not only to jobs but also services for those who need them. For the victims of violence, we must identify and support organizations that understand the trauma of gun violence and how it impacts our health.

As Dr. Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says, “Violence is learned behavior. Violence can also be unlearned behavior.” I know these issues are complex, but I believe with all my heart that we have within us and around us the tools necessary to reduce and, ideally, eliminate gun violence within our communities.

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37 comments

  1. I support moore but I believe the first step starts at home with better parenting and also reducing poverty not restarting trust in the police department. A lot of people are not raised right to much hate for one another. Vast majority of gun violence in inner city are due to gang violence. I’m pro second amendment and I believe gun laws do not work criminals are going to get there hands on guns regardless. The only law I support concerning guns is banning military style guns for civilians to me that is common sense.

    1. To 70% of Americans banning assault type rifles is common sense. But to the NRA it is taboo.
      We’ll see what happens but my monies sadly to say is on the NRA.

      1. Bob what does the NRA really have to do with anything? We always talk about “follow the money” The NRA revenue is 1/2 billion and Planned Parenthood is 1.5 billion. Yet I constantly hear how the Right keeps taking away the rights to choose. Hell, the lift in Hollywood can make a movie that makes 3 billion and cost more than the NRA’s total revenue. That’s a fake premise but keep feeding it to the starving. They will eat it.

        donj. I’ll agree with you on the ban for certain types of weapons. We can’t by a rocket launcher, there is the word “regulated” in the Second Amendment. As someone who was raised poor, no father, although hate comes in many forms no matter how you are raised. But being raised in the city like the Port you are exposed to a lot, and when you are young you tend to not know the consequences of your actions until you are older and wiser. You can’t teach time.

        Remember the Republican, Boehner, Ryan fought for years and put up 50 votes to repeal Obama Care. Pelosi not so much on carnage of gun violence. In fact, you only hear from them when there is a mass shooting by a white person, but nothing on the day to day gun violence and not many votes.

        It’s not about restating trust in our police department. It’s about not creating a public racial element in it, with regards to the BLUE. Bob didn’t evoke the NRA for nothing. I didn’t hear him say how the NAACP cries and marches are falling on deaf ears in the Democratic Party.

        And let’s not forget before the “cries and marches” for body cams. The Port’s police abuse on its citizens sees no color, just Blue. Case in point, the black cop was the worse one outs them. He just rolled up on the scene, got out his vehicle, looked around, ran over to the dude on the ground, leaned on her brother in blue for leverage, just to kick him in the head. And the black cop was the only one who got away with it. When we talk about privilege in American. You just witness Black privilege, people. Not say white cops don’t abuse their power. We witness it when entire force rolled up on that party, While the white cop seems to be the ones who commit most of the abuse, the black and Latino cops lied on their reports to protect them to cover it up.
        “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it” ~ Martin Luther King.

        Just say people.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AO_7YGma-I

  2. Men with prominent foreheads absent hair are the targets of many advertisements. Some of these identify “male pattern baldness” as the problem. Ganim’s private attempts to restore a more youthful hairline are OK with me. They are a personal issue on which he seems to direct more attention, based on OIB comments, than he has or does on the role of all guns in general or wartime “assault weapons” and the role they play in protecting the people of Bridgeport.

    Clyde Nicholson and I presented the idea of “extending currently existing gun free zones” in Bridgeport in January to the City Council. No Council member responded to us asking for a discussion and certainly no member of the administration or PD indicated a wish to sit down and discuss. If more than 70% of folks wish assault weapons to be severely controlled, limited, etc. why are people in power resistant to discussion and action? Time will tell.

    1. John was Carolyn Vermont any help for you and Clyde Nicholson, seeing that Mayor Joe Ganim hired local activist Carolyn Vermont to be his $70,000-a-year community liaison. According to the job description, Vermont will be more than just a glorified social butterfly. She will represent the mayor at various functions and on public or private boards; be Ganim’s liaison with community groups, religious and private organizations; receive and resolve constituent complaints; and take on unspecified additional projects.

      John, Carolyn Vermont in her press release as a primary Democrat candidate for the State Senate.
      April 3, 2018:
      “Public Safety is an issue that is near and dear to Carolyn’s heart. She lost a 23-year-old niece to gun violence. Carolyn currently serves as Director of Urban Initiatives for CT Against Gun Violence. In this capacity, she promotes CAGV’s mission of identifying, developing and promoting passage of legislation designed to enhance gun safety at the local, state, and national levels through the political process. Through her work with CAGV, Carolyn has developed a relationship with CT Legislators. Her work requires her to interact with the legislators at public hearings, press conferences and community forums. She served as a CT representative at CT in The Capital Seminars in DC during the last two sessions.”

      So John, with Carolyn Vermont new position for the City and what she states in her background, again, did she reach out to you and Clyde?

      1. Carolyn Vermont has been a community activist for years having led the Greater Bridgeport NAACP Branch at one time and was President of the Bridgeport Rotary Club in 2018-19. Most recently she has taken a position with the Ganim2 administration.
        I have not been contacted at any time by Ms. Vermont with respect to my own activities with either talks to the City Council, publishing the NAACP Newsletter during the past three years or any civil rights advocacy in which I have taken a role or position. Passing on the street one day, she told me that she disagreed with my commentary on a City activity, the Friday morning meetings she held but which I found absent any real sharing of purpose, speakers, etc. from what I received and therefore found it easy to find competing activities at that hour where my time tried to be better spent. No outreach otherwise of which I am aware. Time will tell.

  3. JML
    I don’t recall you Clyde mentioning Gun free zone. Get me something in writing so i can summit it to Our Public safety Committee which i serve on i would love to take a look at it and summit it. My Number is 475-225-7669.

  4. A letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said “already in 2019, there have been over 250 mass shootings.”

    “The tragic events in El Paso and Dayton this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them,” the mayors said.

    The letter was signed by seven Connecticut mayors, including Marcia LeClerc of East Hartford, Luke Bronin of Hartford, Kevin Scarpati of Meriden, Toni Harp of New Haven, David Martin of Stamford, Shari Cantor of West Hartford and Joe Ganim of Bridgeport.

  5. Sorry JML. Didn’t realize you were named spokesman for the mayor on the subject of make pattern baldness.
    And apparently you and His Hobor miss the point.
    It simply shows how he is more concerned about fixing his MPB than he is the problems of the city.
    He is superficial. He cares about appearing to fix problems than he is about actually fixing problems.
    We will all be better off if the voters realize he has done nothing about the ills of the city over the last 3 plus years but to say he is going to do something tomorrow.

    1. Little Joe Ganim of the dog hair toupee is narrowly focused on one agenda: his own job security. Ganim will be remembered as the crook that ripped off the people of the city of Bridgeport, was arrested, tried, convicted, sent to prison, disbarred, released and re-elected in one of the greatest abuses of the electoral system, abuse that included buying votes for twenty bucks a piece and a slice of pizza from DTC chair Mario Testa’s restaurant. He ran for governor thinking suburban Democrats would overlook his seedy past. He lost the primary and came back to Easton, er, Bridgeport to lick his wounds and plot his next move.

      Now we are here, 2019. The new, disproved Ganim wants another term in the mayor’s office. Really, Joe? During that run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination you neglected city business. You submitted a budget that withheld school funding. Were it not for proaction by the City Couincil you would’ve gotten away with that. Shame on you.

      Then there was the opening of Boca Oyster Bar, a place where your well heeled friends from Easton can hobnob with each other. How is Boca Oyster bar going to benefit the people of the city of Bridgeport?

      You tried to score political points with the electorate by holding a news conference with Ernie “Moses” Newton, another felon. Do you really think the people of the city of Bridgeport are going to be fooled by a photo op? The only current event that sank lower is Donald Trump holding a baby orphaned by a mass shooter while Melania smiles and everyone gives a thumbs up.

      You are a failure, Joe Ganim. Virtually everyone registered to vote in this town knows you are a failure and a fraud, just another self-interested huckster looking after number one. Tell Mario to be careful with those absentee ballots. Denise Merrill may not have the stomach for an investigation but the FBI certainly does. They’d love to put your antlers on the office wall a second time.

      Have a wonderful day, Mr. Mayor.

      1. Derek, Joe Ganim was able to run for governor this last go around after serving time in a federal prison because he had the City Attorney’s Office with especially Hamilton Burger running the City and the newly made Police Chief, Lieutenant Arthur Tragg. The City had no adult supervision. Joe Ganim never took the position of mayor seriously because it was just a paycheck because he couldn’t earn a living because he couldn’t get his law license back and being mayor would be his launching please pad for governor or a position with his friend, President 45. Ganim is just another Elmer Gantry conning people to make donations.

      1. Except for the hair posts. Come on ,people, this is a serious subject and should not be mixed up with Joe Ganim’s hairline although the hairline issue is just another example of Joe Ganim only caring about himself.

        1. Frank, this is also about character, unfortunately Joe Ganim can’t get his law license back because of his character because he won’t admit that crimes that he served time for in prison, he was found guilty, that’s character. Yes, he deserves a second chance but not as mayor. Hopefully Lennie or some other reporter will ask Joe about his new hair and let’s see how honest he is working his answer. Ganim lied a about those crimes of stealing, his lies are preventing him from being a lawyer again.

          1. Ron,,btw,,,since we are talking about Public Safety, earlier this year there was a lot of hoopla/PR with Ganim part of it with an emphasis on hiring female firefighters. Do you have any idea when the results will be back.

          2. Frank, hiring list is out but I don’t know the numbers but I’m sure what it looks like but after 11 years I’m sure that this time that women are going to be hired but question remains, why did 11 years past and nobody said a word except Donald Day and myself, something terrible wrong. Imagine if there was 11 years that no white males were being hired on the Bridgeport Fire Department, never mind because that could never happen but it’s ok not to say or do something because there are no women being hired and you have two black men speaking out about it.

    1. Lennie,,,I don’t want to to to the well too often but maybe the CT Post article I referenced above should get it’s OWN posting.There was an impressive list of attendees. I see that Mayor Joe Ganim had a press release about guns/background checks. Pardon the pun but it looks like we are having “dueling discussions” on gun violence but that is a good thing. Lennie,up to you and Thank You.

  6. Marilyn Moore’s letter is excellent, “Comprehensive Approach Required To Stem Gun Violence.” Let start where Marilyn Moore wrote, “The first step is to restore trust in our Bridgeport Police Department. The Bridgeport Police Department is stretched too thin and its leadership has not been able to readily tackle the challenges it has faced. If we want to increase public safety and restore trust in our law enforcement, then we need to better train law enforcement to engage productively with our neighbors. Ensuring safe communities is a matter of social justice — and that requires a police department that it is up for the job.” This a very sad but true assessment of the Bridgeport Police Department, new leadership is needed starting with the Police Chief. Pete Spain gets right to heart of AJ Perez with his letter and the video below.

    “Troubling words from police chief”: Letter from Pete Spain Bridgeport City Council 130th District

    A.J. Perez as the city’s acting police chief in 2016. In that video, after being sworn in, Acting Chief Perez states:
    “This is the family … the people we went to war with … and we conquered … another hurdle … that has been surpassed … we all believe in brother Joe … I’ll go to my grave believing in him … there gonna be great things coming to this city and it’s all because of him … this is great … this is what the people of this city need … we believe ….”
    I didn’t realize we live in a country where winning a campaign makes you conquerors.
    https://youtu.be/57rw8LPXr_I

    1. Soooo….Lets talk about the relationship between the Bridgeport Police Department and the Bridgeport Community,especially the Black/Brown Community. The link that I post below(hopefully) states that homicides in Bridgeport in 2019 have already exceeded the amount of homicides in 2018. However,there is a bit of information in the article. Not only were the Bridgeport Police investigating the homicide but the Bridgeport Police had to DISPERSE a crowd that had gathered. How many times have the Bridgeport Police had to “disperse crowds” in the last 3 1/2 years. I cannot blame individual members of the Bridgeport Police Department. I will blame the leadership of the Bridgeport Police Department,namely Joe Ganim’s good friend, Police Chief A.J.Perez(nice guy?).

      https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Police-investigate-city-homicide-14189935.php

  7. I’m not sure how effective “gun free zones” will be. Since when have you seen a criminal care about laws? Gun free zones put law abiding citizens that choose to carry, and CT is an open carry state in a precarious position.

    If someone has decided to use a firearm in the commission of a crime do you really think he is worried about an extra five years using that gun in said area would tack on? Nah, he doesn’t care.

    Education is key, along with some type of national firearm sales database, and the elimination of auctions, trade show sales, and person to person transfers of weapons without a background check.

    I am a survivor of an attempted murder. I was shot in the chest during a robbery when I was 17. Gun violence is personal to me.

    1. Eric, thank you for sharing your story and you know first hand the fear and pain of being shot, you were blessed. Marilyn Moore sharing her story with all of us gives us new light into shootings and guns. Gun sales are way to easy and there needs to be much tighter requirements much tougher in buying guns.

        1. Eric, there’s NO one answer but doesn’t mean we don’t open a dialogue. Eric, it is stories like Marilyn Moore and yours that touches us all. Why is it that other countries around the don’t have they same number of gun killings.

  8. The law regarding juveniles has to change where they must do adult time for adult crime. No more excuses about brain development and other factors defense attorneys use to reduce the time their clients get. If a juvenile shoots someone, kills someone or so much as carries a gun they should face serious time and do it all. There should be mandatory sentences since there are way too many plea bargains and the suspect (s) are not being punished long enough if at all. If a family has to bury a child then the person who caused that death should pay a heavy price too. The current thinking is there is very little punishment for juveniles so there is nothing to stem the criminal activity. Other kids see nothing really happens if you get caught so why not do it too.

    There should be no more excuses for criminal behavior a lot this is on the change in the juvenile law. Fix that mess and then really start punishing these kids. Make jail a place that is feared rather then a rite of passage or place to go see your buddies locked up for one reason or another.

    Change the law to use the grand jury system for shootings and homicide currently the grand jury on the state level is not used for these crimes. Appoint special prosecutors for all gun crimes that involve adults and juveniles. The police can’t be everywhere, until they fix their staffing issues you will not see community policing yet alone effective community policing that is years away if at all.

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