When shots are fired, many times people are unsure if what they heard was actually gunfire. In communities where gunfire is common, though...the sound is all too familiar.
If community members have the courage to call the police, they still may decide not to call because they assume that someone else will call 911. Unfortunately, most of the time no one ever calls.
Imagine living in a neighborhood where notorious criminals, gang members, and drug dealers constantly instill fear. Community members may want the streets cleaned up, but what happens if the bad guys find out they called the police?
After so many times of hearing gunfire, it becomes a normal part of life. Everyday, those living in areas with persistent gun violence shrug off the fear and try to move on with their lives. They feel like they have no other choice.
Battered communities immersed in violence feel like the police don't care or that the police will only make matters worse. Constant negative headlines about police brutality and extreme prison sentences for petty crimes don't always help ease the tension. How can they trust the police?
Business owners move out of communities with persistent gun violence.
Properties in communities known for gun crime decline in value, which impacts the economic outlook of the entrie neighborhood.
This starts a vicious cycle of low economic growth and fewer employment opportunities.
Gun crimes go unaddressed, shooters remain at large, and the community continues to live in fear.
*Source: The Effect of Gun Violence on Local Economies, Urban Institute, November 2016.