— by Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA
Two weeks ago, two teenagers were shot at the Delaware Valley Charter High School in Philadelphia. On the same day’s night, two gun murders occurred in Southwest Philadelphia, blocks and minutes apart.
And you may not have even heard about those incidents, because as a society, we are becoming numb. It is just “more of the same.” But for the victims and their loved ones, this is far from normal, acceptable or routine.
Three days later, I had the honor of joining City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and more than 100 residents of Southwest Philadelphia in a march against gun violence between the sites of the two murders.
As we took back those streets and, in the words of one of the pastors who addressed the crowd, “made the ground and atmosphere holy with our lives and will to live,” I was inspired.
Even the mothers of the two most recent victims came to stand with their neighbors and proclaim that “enough is enough.” Their strength and the determination of their neighbors is shared by people all over Pennsylvania. In Pittsburgh, a similar rally was held two days earlier to call for justice for a baby who was shot late last spring.
We are on the right path, and we will succeed.