The Associated Press

Boston Police Ask Clergy For Ideas To Stem Gun Violence

BPD Superintendent in Chief William Gross talks with reporters after meeting with Boston clergy. (Delores Handy/WBUR)

BPD Superintendent in Chief William Gross talks with reporters after meeting with Boston clergy. (Delores Handy/WBUR)

BOSTON — Top commanders in the Boston Police Department met Wednesday with local clergy leaders to try to come up with ideas on how to stem a recent wave of fatal shootings.

Police Commissioner William Evans and other officials met at police headquarters with a group of about 25 members of the clergy in what Evans said was an effort to come up with ways to get illegal guns off the street and stop the violence that has erupted in the city in January.

“We need their help in getting the guns that are out there that we can’t get,” Evans said before the meeting.

Afterward, police Superintendent in Chief William Gross said the group talked about various ways to try to curb violence, including reaching out to young people and their families, instituting a gun buyback program, and encouraging people who are afraid to talk to police to turn over illegal guns to clergy leaders.

“We are a united front, a united front against the violence that’s occurring in our streets,” Gross said.

“This is not acceptable, what’s going on,” he added.

So far this year, there have been nine homicides in the city, compared to two last year at this time. Gross said police believe several of the shootings are related and not random.

“I’m going to suggest if you know where a gun is, you tell me,” said the Rev. Richard Conway of St. Peter’s church in Dorchester. “I’ll get rid of the gun – no questions asked.”


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  • Lawrence

    Why as the clergy? The solution is clear. These barbaric animals roaming the city streets were not born that way. It’s their upbringing. It’s poor parenting. It’s the girl who has a baby and the father runs off fathering numerous other children.

    If the mother’s learn to use Planned Parenthood and have children when and if they are actually ready to offer guidance, love and leadership to those they bring into this world, then maybe we wouldn’t have so many of these violent thugs running around?

  • X-Ray

    There is no such a thing as “Gun Violence”. Would you call a injury inflicted by
    a drunken driver as “Car Violence”? Of course not. A gun does not do anything
    until it is picked up, loaded, aimed and fired by a person. Calling it “Gun
    Violence” deflects the responsibility from the real cause of the violence, the
    operator. It also obfuscates the path on needed actions to ameliorate the problem
    by taking the spotlight off the person who does the assaulting. The present
    shootings are gang violence. We need to focus our efforts in that area.

    • dust truck

      It’s kinda hard to just pick up a car and then taking on a sea of trouble and by opposing them end them. You gotta start the engine, get up enough speed and hope your target doesn’t dodge out of the way at the last second. Meanwhile a handgun can be easily hidden, point-and-shoot solution to any angry teenagers problems.

      So yeah, this is a difference between Gun-violence and other forms of violence. Guns make it much easier for mistakes to happen and people with hot tempers to immediately regret them, (like that idiot in Florida who killed a man for texting in a theater.)

      • X-Ray

        The man in FL doing the shooting in a theater was a cop. And you missed the point of the common thing in the violence, car and shooting, is the person, not the car or gun.

        • dust truck

          a yes, but the gun makes it a LOT easier, eh? If the retired cop in the theater had to go out to his car to commit the murder, he probably would have cooled down and decided that facing a murder charge wouldn’t be much fun, eh?

          • X-Ray

            So let’s take the guns away from off-duty cops, right? That’s your logic.

          • dust truck

            Yeah, so? I know you gun-nuts are always so scared that you have to keep your gun with you because you never know when you have to take it out and ‘defend’ yourself from a texting-father in a theater. Oooh, soooo scary. But in a peaceful world, there is no reason why a cop can’t just leave his gun at the police station when he’s off-duty.

          • X-Ray

            And you gun-grabbers ignore the 2nd Ammendment and blame guns for social problems for which you have no solutions.

          • dust truck

            Uh… we do have a solution. Sensible regulations. Prosecution for negligence. Y’know simple stuff, and I’m not even an advocate for outright bans. Just common sense.

          • fun bobby

            how bout we start prosecuting gun trafficking that is already illegal instead of contributing to it like the ATF giving guns to mentally challenged people and cartel members?

          • fun bobby

            that would be great for the gangbangers. open season

          • fun bobby

            or he could have just slashed that guys throat or use a gun he purchased on the black market

      • fun bobby

        that and teenagers are allowed to buy and drive cars and are not allowed to buy or carry handguns

  • LogicPlease

    At least people in this article are asking the questions about gun safety, not just trying to ban certain guns that are used in less than 1% of crimes.

    But before we can begin to talk gun safety, both sides need to understand that there needs to be compromise. Currently there is a once sided debate, with gun control advocates trying to take rights away, without offering anything in compromise.

    the conversation usually amounts to:

    Guncontrol folks: Hey gun nuts, we want to take these 10 things from you.

    Gunrights folks: No, that’s taking too many of our rights away, gun grabber.

    Guncontrol folks: Ok, ok, we’ll only take these 7 away, that’s a compromise right?

    Well, its not, in compromise, both sides need to give something up and gain something they want.

    Universal background check is a smart idea, if done correctly, which was not the case in the Dem’s bill. Fix the way the bill is written and there could be discussion.

    Also, give some things back to the Gunrights folks, universal CC laws across states, get rid of ban on suppressors and limits of types of guns states can ban. ect.

    Improve database of who cant get guns, and make illegal carrying of guns and use of guns in crime hold a larger penalty so it actually matters. Tacking on 3 months for having a gun during an attempted murder charge which has 15 year penelty is ridiculous. Make it 5 years min just in having a gun without permit in public and +10 years for use in a violent crime.

    Add some money in the bill for free to the public, gun safety training at our police stations, done by police officers. This will allow some positive interaction between police and citizens, because even the blind can see that relationship is quickly deteriorating.

    I am a very liberal, very gun rights person, and I see the violence problem that we have in the US, while understanding that its better here than most places in the 1st world. But that doesnt mean we cant improve the situation. We just need to break down the problem into individual parts, and attack each appropriately.

  • fun bobby

    maybe they should try asking gun owners

  • fun bobby

    actually if you intend to use that wasp spray for self defense or use it on a person you could get in quite a bit of trouble. why don’t you want to pay $100 to apply for the possible right to carry pepper spray?

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