Mad or Nah: Holdup at City Hall

Should Kenney pull the trigger on declaring a gun violence emergency? 

The country just experienced one of the bloodiest Fourth of July weekends in history, with at least 267 gun-related deaths. Eight of those in Philadelphia – 27 more wounded in potentially life-changing ways. Homicides are up 33% from 2020.

Is this a city problem? A state or federal issue? 91% of Americans support comprehensive background checks for firearms. Short of changing our laws, what can we do?

P.O.C. is back in these streets, asking Philadelphians how they feel about the mayor’s response to record-breaking homicides in the city. As officials and activists urge Jim Kenney to declare a state of emergency, he has so far refused, citing possible threats to civil liberties. “I don’t want to lock down the entire city,” he told Philly Mag in February, “I don’t want to stop people from peacefully congregating.”

Really though? The guy who tear-gassed peaceful protesters on the Vine St Expressway is concerned about over-policing? Some folks remain skeptical. A state of emergency would immediately juice departments and agencies with money & autonomy so they can act quicker, and act on their own solutions without waiting for approval from the Mayor’s office. An emergency order would bring an “all hands on deck” approach to containing the epidemic of gun violence.

What do you think? Should Kenney declare a state of emergency? Or are personal rights more important than public safety? How do you feel about the city’s response to gun violence this year? Are you Mad or Nah?

Neighbors sound off! NOTE: Some speakers provide their names & neighborhoods, some don’t. Check out their voices in P.O.C.’s original recorded interviews, transcribed here:

    • I think the problem is bigger than Mayor Kenney. And as far as gun violence, I think gun violence is a misnomer. I think we should actually put the problem where it belongs and based on the perpetrator, as opposed to the mechanism used to commit the violence. But to your original question, it starts in the community. But we it would be helpful to get support from elected officials.  — Talib, Germantown
    • I think it’s a big problem. I’m not sure exactly what needs to be done. I can understand that, you know, given we’re coming out of a pandemic, there’s a lot of frustration. And then coming out of all the protests and positive social movements from the last year — there’s still like tension from people not having work and just kind of coming out into the streets. Just sort of that that tension that’s kind of permeating. So even though there’s new administration now, so maybe some people might think there’s a positive outlook, but the tension still exists.  — Jim. The Northeast
    • Well, I think of it as it is a state of emergency. People tell me it’s not in my neighborhood, so I don’t need to worry. But the amount of violence affects everybody. And I’m very concerned as to why it happens. The people who are caught up in it, and I think it’s indicative of a greater overall problem, and it should be looked at holistically. But yes, I am very concerned about the gun violence in Philadelphia. — Vicki, West Mount Airy
    • It makes me mad because they’re not doing nothing for the community and they put the cops on the block. Cops are scared to get shot, too. And they got guns. They ready to shoot us. When we shoot at them it’s a problem. We shoot at each other it’s more of a problem. So then it’s Black on Black crime. Black Lives Matter? Evidently not. We keep killing each other. Stupid. I can’t bring my grandkids out to catch the bus to take them home. So I got to get an Uber and all that? It’s horrible.  — Resident, West Philly
    • It’s got to stop. It’s not safe to walk the streets. Trouble everywhere. Too much — it’s got to stop sometime. — Joe, the Northeast
    • Yeah, I’m not comfortable with it. Strange coming from outside the U.S. to see the amount of gun violence in the US.  — Resident, University City

How ‘Bout You? Reading these comments, are you mad or nah? Big mad, little mad? Chime in below! Or reach out to and let her know how you feel. Read the last Mad or Nah here.

Mad or Nah is an original woman-on-the-street interview series from REVIVE Radio that asks Philadelphians about issues impacting their everyday life. 

Tamara Russell aka Proof of Consciousness aka P.O.C. hosts and produces a variety of award-winning shows featured on Uptown Radio 98.5FM and Philly’s WHYY/NPR/PBS outlets. Read more in our feature on this multi-talented motivator, Wouldn’t It Be NICE? (June 2021). 

About P.O.C. 20 Articles
Tamara Russell (aka Proof of Consciousness aka P.O.C.) hosts and produces a variety of award-winning shows featured on Uptown Radio 98.5FM and Philly’s WHYY/NPR/PBS outlets. "Mad or Nah" is an original woman-on-the-street interview series from REVIVE Radio that asks Philadelphians about issues impacting their everyday life.

1 Comment

  1. I’m mad as hell, these fuckers aren’t funding prevention nearly enough, de-escalation programs, poverty alleviation, after school programs but they got plenty of money for cops that can’t even close the shootings or murder cases. They’re a joke, you more likely to flip a coin and have it land on heads than get caught for murder in Philly. That’s not krasner problem either that’s a detective and cop problem.

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