It’s About The Guns, Stupid!1 Comment
Seventy-six people have been killed by violence in Cincinnati this year – most by guns.
University Hospital’s trauma unit expects to treat 328 gunshot-wound victims this year. In 2000, the unit treated 111.
Since Jan. 1, 2002, 1,588 people have been wounded by gunfire in Cincinnati.
In the first 10 months of this year, police have received reports of shots being fired more than 2,900 times or about 10 times a day.
University Hospital trauma unit director Dr. Jay Johannigman said he expects to see the highest number of gunshot victims in five years.
“The community has to be aware of these numbers. If we abandon our community to this kind of senseless violence, it speaks legions about where we are. Downtown and areas like Over-the-Rhine and Avondale cannot be abandoned.”
He likened Cincinnati and surrounding areas to a doughnut, sweet on the outside with a hole in the middle. “We can’t put all of our resources in the suburbs. If we abandon downtown, saying we don’t care, we become like Detroit or east St. Louis. I don’t live in those cities.”
So, what’s the problem?
The Enquirer invited 12 political leaders and community activists to a roundtable last week to discuss the growing violence in the city, the reasons behind it and what can be done to curb it.
The group identified several problems. They cited drugs, single-parent households, lack of education, hard-to-come-by jobs in the inner city, a culture that sees nothing wrong with guns and where revenge is a common theme.
They talked about an inner-city culture that glorifies gangs, accepts the pregnancies of 14-, 15- or 16-year-old girls.
Make no mistake, they said, Cincinnati has a problem. In fact, Army trauma surgeons and doctors don’t have to go to the frontlines of war for training – they’re being trained here in Cincinnati.
Mayor Mark Mallory, elected last month, said he will accept responsibility for bringing the city back. He said he has a number of initiatives to do that, but declined to announce them.