Last night, gun violence outside my campaign office injured two young men and came dangerously close to causing yet more anguish and heartache. The bullet hole in the doorframe of my office reminds us of how close my campaign staff came. How do you measure the cost of shattered peace of mind? Who can tell what silent scars remain – the trauma of hearing shots and diving under desks and tables in search of safety. A safety that too many in our community never found. My neighbor’s son, Benny Lyde, Governor Cuomo’s aide, Carey Gabey, a young woman enjoying J’Ouvert, Tiarah Poyau, a young man walking across Howard Houses plaza, Rysheen Ervin – countless more sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors killed by senseless gun violence.
We cannot allow the abnormal to become the normal. We cannot allow gun violence in our communities to become somehow routine. Senseless injury and death are not routine. Tragedy in our communities must not become routine. We must mobilize our United Against Violence Task Force. As community responders, we must lift up the work of our dedicated anti-violence neighborhood organizations – those doing great work like the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, Save Our Streets, Kings Against Violence Initiative, the James E. Davis Foundation, Lay the Guns Down Foundation, Wheelchairs Against Guns, and the Tiarah’s Way Scholarship Foundation.
We must also recommit to getting guns off the streets, stopping the flow of illegal guns into our communities, and the common sense gun laws our nation needs. We must continue to work towards ensuring no neighborhood lives under the threat of this deadly violence. Our Stop the Violence Unity Walk this evening serves to bring us together to renew our commitment to peace on our streets.