Philadelphia: Gun violence in our community

This week saw yet another incident of gun violence in our community. The specifics of the incident may have been unique, but the violence is all too familiar.

No one was killed yesterday, but the injuries and bloodshed remind us of the irreparable harm caused by gun violence – even when its victims are not mortally wounded. The wounds cause much more than physical pain and disfigurement; they bring perpetual fear and anguish.

My heart is with the injured officers, their loved ones – who are also victims – and the community.

Yet well-wishes and prayers are not enough.

Gov. Wolf’s postponed executive order is expected to refocus departments on combatting gun violence as a public health crisis. The order will be a meaningful first step focused on violence prevention and reduction, the expansion of safety programs, and increased collaboration and data sharing among the public, government agencies and other states.

But we cannot stop there.

We need commonsense gun legislation, and we need it yesterday. The measures, many of which have been proposed each session this decade, have held wide public support since the tragedy in Sandy Hook, Conn.

I hope that as soon as we can return to session, we install universal background checks on all gun sales in Pennsylvania and implement a “Red Flag” law to empower family members and others to petition our courts to separate a person who might be a danger to themselves or others from their guns.

We must immediately and incrementally begin making the changes that are within our reach. The fight to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will continue. We can end these nightmares in our schools and in our streets, in our homes.