An Uptick in Gun Violence in New York


Students gather to demand action. (Courtesy of Instagram)

In January 2022, New York City saw an increase of 31.6% in gun violence cases compared to the previous year. There were 100 reported cases of gun violence in the city this month as reported by the New York Police Department’s official website.

After the killing of two on-duty NYPD officers, Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera, President Joe Biden traveled to New York to meet with New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

According to The New York Times, Biden’s visit to New York City was “a chance to show that Mr. Biden grasps the urgency of responding to violent crime.”

Biden stated that his plans to tackle this rise in gun violence do not come from defunding the police, with which Adams agreed. Both Biden and Adams instead agree on implementing intense police reform.

Adams’ plan includes “immediate changes to add police officers to city streets to remove guns, and for help from the courts and state lawmakers in the months ahead.”

Adams will restore anti-crime police units that were banned in 2020 and has challenged New York lawmakers to change both their bail law and how teenage defendants are handled.

Anti-crime police units will be officers dressed in plain clothes and driving unmarked cars. Officers will have small items with police insignia to identify themselves if necessary.

Alvin Brigg, the Manhattan district attorney who had adopted more lenient gun policies after taking office, is now facing pushback amidst high crime rates.

Brigg says that he will prosecute gun-related crimes, including possession, with more aggression now.

Fordham has also seen this general trend of an increase in violence. George Smith, the director of Fordham Public Safety, has noticed an uptick in gun violence in the 48th precinct, the area surrounding the Rose Hill campus.

According to Smith, Public Safety has begun to take extra measures to ensure student safety, including the development of a texting app that can be downloaded onto any cell phone.

“[These measures include] expanded hours for the community shuttle, [as well as the] D train shuttle. Additionally, we assign an extra Supervisor to patrol the Belmont community from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.,” said Smith. Smith also noted that Public Safety is in full support of Mayor Adams’ plan and “all crime reduction strategies that add real value to our community.”

Not all New Yorkers are on board with Adam’s plan to combat gun violence, and many have posed questions about it.

There is a fear among some New Yorkers that this strict policing will bring the intense policing style of the 1990s back to New York City.

Adams responded to this claim by saying, “We’re not going to return to the era of heavy-handed policing. But we also can’t return to the era of 2,000 homicides a year.”

Jamaal Bowman, representative of New York’s 16th District, agrees that action must be taken as long as it is beneficial to the communities.

Bowman said, “Gun violence is an epidemic of catastrophic proportions that is taking our loved ones, our youth and our neighbors too soon, and we must address it through meaningful and holistic solutions that put the needs of our people first.”

“In order to prevent gun violence” Bowman said, “we must address its root causes: poverty, housing and food insecurity, income inequality, under-resourced public services, under-funded schools and early childhood education programs and a feeling of despair and hopelessness that too often leads people to pick up a gun that was too easy to access.”