Do Something

Demand action on guns and violence

Find out who your state and federal representatives are and reach out. 

Find out who represents you on the City Council and reach out to let them know you want the city to take action and get guns off our streets and reduce violence. 


Read More

Solutions for curbing gun violence

Fed up with guns and violence? So are we. Read up on positive protest strategies and ways to cope with and prevent school shootings

Listen to The Philadelphia Citizen’s 2021 podcast series Philly Under Fire, a deep dive into the underlying causes and possible solutions to the gun violence crisis.

Learn more here about Cure Violence, a broad community approach to preventing and reducing gang violence that treats violence as an infectious disease.

Community-based violence intervention programs have been used for twenty years to reduce violence in communities by as much as 60%, but they require funding and commitment. Read more about how CVI programs work here.

The Roca Impact Institute is offering communities and institutions that are committed to ending gun violence a coaching program to learn their CBT-based approach to violence intervention. You can learn more and support their work here.

Drexel University’s Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice operates Helping Hurt People in Philadelphia for survivors and witnesses to violence, from ages 8 to 35. Read more about the program and support them here.

The CDC offers comprehensive resources and information on preventing gun violence that includes data and education, research on effective solutions, and promoting collaboration across sectors to address the problem.

Dig deeper

Gun violence is more than statistics

An image of a city in crisis, no matter how disheartening, can be more impactful than raw numbers. From the Office of the Controller, this is an interactive map of violence in Philadelphia. View and interact with data going back to 2015 on homicides and shootings in the city. Each data point is a person injured or killed.

For a national context, The Gun Violence Archive is a stark repository of the statistics on gun violence in America. Here you can export research data, view maps and Congressional reports, and review almost in real-time the toll that guns have exacted on us. Remember that each of these numbers is a person with a story.

Tired of the Slog of American Gun Violence?

If you’re feeling hopeless and helpless once again after the Kansas City Super Bowl parade shooting, take heart. There are things you can do to make change, here and now

Tired of the Slog of American Gun Violence?

If you’re feeling hopeless and helpless once again after the Kansas City Super Bowl parade shooting, take heart. There are things you can do to make change, here and now

You don’t have to see footage of the shooting and ensuing stampede at the 2024 Super Bowl Parade in Kansas City to envision how it went down. You know it wasn’t like Uvalde, Parkland, Nashville or Sandy Hook. Nor was it Aurora, CO; Orlando, FL; or Monterey Park, CA. The parade’s victims were outdoors, sort of like the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas, or a larger-scale version of what happened on Temple’s campus in February, South Street a couple of summers ago, and a bus stop in Northeast Philly this week.

The fact that it took me less than one minute to write the above paragraph is … something. Twenty-five years after the massacre at Columbine, we Americans can reel off the names of mass shootings like we do our current binge watches. Here in Philly, it’s hard not to think that what happened outside Kansas City’s Union Station could have taken place outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art six years ago — or last year, had things gone our way in Super Bowl LVII. We know, too, that gunshots this year will likely kill hundreds of our neighbors (even as the homicide rate has dropped from its 2022 high).

To think about gun violence in America is to be tired of thinking about it.

There are more guns than residents of the U.S.: We probably won’t ever all agree on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. And yet: There are things — including easy things — we already all agree on, and that we can all do to continue to lower gun violence in our city and country.

Start where we agree

Survey after survey, study after study, show that the majority of American adults want this problem solved.

In June 2023, the Pew Research Center found 61 percent of (6 out of 10) Americans believe obtaining a gun in the U.S. is “too easy” and 58 percent — 86 percent of Democrats, 28 percent of Republicans — favor stricter gun laws.

An even larger and more bipartisan group — 88 to 89 percent of us — want to ban people with mental illness from owning firearms, while 79 percent want to raise the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21; 44 percent oppose the expansion of places where a gun owner can carry a concealed weapon.

Other areas of majority agreement: Ban high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold 10 or more rounds. Ban assault-style weapons.

FWIW: Younger Americans are more wary of guns than older adults. A study last year by Everytown for Gun Safety, Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation, and The Southern Poverty Law Center found 74 percent of people ages 14 to 30 agree gun violence is a problem.

Support common sense gun laws

Here in PA, we have a few gun safety bills up for consideration.

House Bill 1629 aims to get gun owners with children to lock up their weapons when not in usage. Like, in a box. The legislation from Rep. Tim Briggs, a Democrat from Montgomery County, would punish first-time offenders with a summary offense; second-timers with a third degree misdemeanor. If the child uses the firearm in a crime or injures someone with it: third degree felony. On November 14, 2023, the bill went into committee; if it makes it out of committee, it will come up for a vote in the full House, then repeat the process in the State Senate.

House Bill 941, is also child-centered. It would penalize a guardian or parent for allowing a minor who has been convicted of a crime or is known to be at risk for committing a crime, for allowing that child to possess or use a firearm. Rep. Darisha K. Parker, a Democrat from Philadelphia, proposed this legislation. If the recent case in Michigan of Jennifer Crumbley, convicted of manslaughter after her son Ethan shot up his high school, is any indication, parents may become increasingly criminally responsible for their children’s gun access and usage. Current status: same as above.

Other recent bills that have gotten through the House but have stopped in the Senate:

HB714 wants to require sales of long guns (shotguns, assault rifles, machine guns) to mandate background checks. This bill would effectively create a universal background check law, because PA law already requires background checks for handguns. HB714 made it out of the House in June 2023, and is now in committee in the Senate.

HB1018, a “red flag” law that would allow a family or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from a person who seems as if they’ll hurt themself or someone else. According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins, 81 percent of Americans agree: Someone subject to a temporary domestic violence restraining order should not have a gun while the order is in effect. Same study found 76 percent of us support allowing “family members to ask the court to temporarily remove guns from a relative who they believe is at risk of harming themselves or others.”

Despite that, Senate Judiciary Chair Lisa Baker, a Republican repping Luzerne County, has publicly stated she has “no plans to advance the bills.” A Republican-controlled Senate rejected a similar red flag bill in 2022.

Think these bills are steps in the right direction? Contact your state representative and let them know. It will take about the same amount of time it took for me to write that first paragraph. Use this easy tool to find and reach your state reps and senators.

Keep kids safe.

In 2019, Pennsylvania became the first state to require all schools use the Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, which lets users send anonymous tips about potential threats at school via an app or website.

A couple weeks ago, a Lancaster County middle school credited Safe2Say Something with preventing a student’s threats on Snapchat from becoming a reality. Last year, the system helped remove 89 weapons from PA schools.

Ensure your children and their friends know about Safe2Say, have the app installed on their phones, and know they can safely report what they see without consequences.


Want to do something even simpler — yet impactful? On November 5, 25 of 50 of PA’s state senators will be up for reelection (along with one U.S. Senator from PA and candidates for President of the United States with known divergent views on gun control).

If this issue matters to you, make it known in the ballot box.


Photo by Fibonacci Blue for Flickr.

The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil comments. If your post is offensive, not only will we not publish it, we'll laugh at you while hitting delete.

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story

Advertising Terms

We do not accept political ads, issue advocacy ads, ads containing expletives, ads featuring photos of children without documented right of use, ads paid for by PACs, and other content deemed to be partisan or misaligned with our mission. The Philadelphia Citizen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and all affiliate content will be nonpartisan in nature. Advertisements are approved fully at The Citizen's discretion. Advertisements and sponsorships have different tax-deductible eligibility. For questions or clarification on these conditions, please contact Director of Sales & Philanthropy Kristin Long at [email protected] or call (609)-602-0145.