PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf visited Philadelphia on Friday afternoon to announce a call to action to curb gun violence. Efforts to stop shootings in the city are really needed.
Police say a 14-year-old boy was shot three times in West Philadelphia on Friday and is now in critical condition as lawmakers remain puzzled on how to stop the violence.READ MORE: Four Guns Confiscated From Philadelphia International Airport Passengers Over Weekend
This happened only about an hour after the governor left the city following his news conference that was about two blocks from this area.
“This is a scourge affecting all of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said.
Wolf called for action on gun violence reform at a news conference Friday at the YMCA in West Philadelphia, urging the state legislature in Harrisburg to pass laws that would require people to safely store their firearms, to require them to report lost or stolen guns, and more.
“And another is to eliminate the loophole in the background checks,” Wolf said.
Why is it taking so long?
“That might be better addressed to the legislatures. But I think the COVID pandemic, I thought we were making real progress to getting some new legislation and I think the COVID pandemic, the last 13 months, has sort of put a stop to a lot of good things,” Wolf said.
The governor’s visit comes during a violent time in Philadelphia’s history. Last year, the city saw nearly 500 homicides, more than any other year in the last decade.READ MORE: Giant Supermarket Chain Opening 4 New Stores In Philadelphia, Hiring 700 Employees
Now, with at least 156 this year, homicides are up more than 30% year to date.
“We are not going to accept this narrative,” state Sen. Anthony Williams said.
Williams requested Friday’s meeting with the governor, along with state and city leaders to collectively address gun violence.
“We are going to coordinate every resource possible, not just money, to change the next generation,” Williams said.
“The availability of guns in the commonwealth is insane. It’s easier to get guns than a driver’s license in Pennsylvania. That’s nuts,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.
“The amount of coordinated effort that was given to address the pandemic of coronavirus must be dedicated to address the pandemic of gun violence,” Rep. Joanna McClinton said.
Those who live in West Philadelphia add parents need to do their part.
“Parents need to be tougher,” resident Russel Price said.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Chef Eli Kulp Finds New Mission After Being Paralyzed In Amtrak Crash, Battle With Depression
The total number of people shot in Philadelphia is also up this year, with at least 557.