Increase In Shootings Hits Pennsylvania’s Smaller Cities


A first grader is hit in the crossfire of rival gangs. Surgeons save her life but have to remove a large piece of one lung. An angry man shoots at his girlfriend and wounds a neighbor on a porch. The Philadelpahia Inquirer says these are cases this year from Pennsylvania’s smaller cities. “Where we used to see one or two [gunshot victims] a month, now we see one or two a week,” said William Adams, 44, medical director of the emergency department at General Hospital in Lancaster, Pa., population 60,000. “Over the past 10 years we have seen about a fourfold increase.”

“There are just too many guns in the hands of the wrong people,” says Lancaster Mayor J. Richard Gray. Gray and other mayors stood with Gov. Ed Rendell last month as he challenged the legislature to limit handgun purchases to one a month, require lost or stolen guns to be reported to police, and permit cities to enact ordinances tougher than state law to restrict handguns. “From Scranton to Carlisle, York to Philadelphia, and Lancaster to Pittsburgh, our mayors know firsthand the devastation that illegal guns and straw purchasers are having in our neighborhoods,” Rendell said. “This is not just a Philadelphia or Pittsburgh problem.”


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