Philadelphia Police Commissioner: Help Limit Spread of Guns
Philadelphia Police Commissioner John F. Timoney, the keynote opening speaker in Jefferson University Hospital’s Violence Prevention Program, called for State legislation that would limit access to guns.
“Doctors and nurses do an outstanding job in our emergency rooms,” Mr. Timoney told the gathering of healthcare professionals and emergency services personnel on the Jefferson campus.
“But the challenge to both Philadelphia and Pennsylvania is to limit access of guns to young people, gangs, drug dealers and deranged people.”
Philadelphia’s top police official urged audience members to speak out to curb the spread of weapons to such groups.
PHOTO: Presenting Jefferson University Hospital’s Violence Prevention Program, from left: R. Patrick McManus Jr., MD, Family Medicine; Linda Davis-Moon, MSN, CRNP, Emergency Department; Steven Dutton, DD, Pastoral Care Department; Theodore A. Christopher, MD, Emergency Department. Don Walker Photography
“We don’t propose eliminating guns or citizens’ rights to bear arms. But we do urge the Pennsylvania Legislature to pass reasonable legislation that would limit gun purchases by an individual and so take the profit out of selling guns, especially to young people,” the Commissioner explained.
“It happens all the time on the street – people making money by buying guns and reselling them at higher prices for profit. Not to pass laws to reduce such activity is a national disgrace. There is no nice way to couch it.”
“It’s probably surprising” the Commissioner added, but Federal authorities now list Pennsylvania as a “source” state, one of a handful which “export” the most guns to other states.
“Pennsylvania should continue to be known for what we do best, such as ‘exporting’ finely trained doctors and nurses, not guns,” he told the Jefferson audience.
Aimed at curbing and preventing violence in the city, the new series is sponsored by the Violence Prevention Partnership and funded by the William Penn Foundation through Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Department of Pastoral Care and Department of Emergency Medicine, whose Director, Theodore A. Christopher, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery (Emergency Medicine), introduced the first program’s speakers.
R. Patrick McManus Jr., MD, Featured
Dr. McManus, who has long been active in community efforts to curb youth violence, particularly in North Philadelphia, shared the program with two at-risk adolescents with whom he works.
To a hushed audience, the boy and girl each described their experiences of growing up surrounded by poverty and the obstacles of an urban environment.
“If you’re not bright enough, you won’t make it in the ghetto,” said the 16-year-old girl. “I must be bright, because I’m still here.”
She and the 17-year-old boy joined Dr. McManus and four clinical Pastoral Care students in a panel discussion to close the program.
Project manager for the series is Steven Dutton, DD, Pastoral Care. Coordinator is Linda Davis-Moon, MSN, CRNP, Emergency Department.
A spring program is planned. Call Ms. Davis-Moon at 215-955-6844.