FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2013
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW YORK CITY'S SUCCESS IN KEEPING GUNS OUT OF THE HANDS OF TEENS THROUGH TOUGH GUN LAWS AND PROACTIVE POLICING IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, April 7, 2013.
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Here in New York City, we’ve done everything possible to take illegal guns off the streets. That includes helping to pass the toughest law in the nation against illegal possession of a loaded gun. It also includes smart, pro-active policing that makes it much more likely that if you break our city’s gun laws, you’ll be caught. Those two realities combine to form a powerful deterrent – and based on the data, there’s just no question that our strategy is working.
“Last year, we cut murder to an all-time low – and so far this year, it’s down another 30 percent, and shootings are also down another 24 percent. On Thursday, I joined NYPD leaders at the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a community where we’ve cut crime by 18 percent since 2001, to announce federal data that makes that even clearer.
“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the proportion of teens carrying handguns in New York City in 2011 – the last year for which statistics are available – hit an all-time low of 2.3 percent. That’s the lowest rate in any big city in the country, and it’s a 36 percent drop from the 3.6 percent of teens in our city who reported carrying a gun in 2001. On average, the rest of the nation saw a decline in the number of teens who carry handguns, too – but only an 11 percent drop. That means teens in the rest of the country are now more than twice as likely to carry a handgun as teens in New York City.
“Keeping guns out of the hands of young people is a moral and social imperative, because despite last week’s encouraging news, there remains an awful reality. Too often, young people are the victims of gun violence. And too often, young people are also the ones doing the shooting. As an annual report released by the NYPD on Thursday details, the median age of murder victims for 2012 was only 27 years old, and more than a quarter of all murder suspects were between the ages of 16 and 21.
“The CDC data and the NYPD report also show that young men are far more likely than young women to carry guns. As a result, the vast majority of murder victims and suspects in our city were males: 84 percent of murder victims and 93 percent of murder suspects. And these crimes, tragically, took place most often in black and Hispanic neighborhoods; last year, 90 percent of all murder victims and suspects were black or Hispanic. By targeting police resources in the communities where they’re most needed, we had 96 fewer murders in 2012 compared to 2011, and that means there are 92 black and Hispanic New Yorkers alive today who otherwise would not be.
“I believe we owe it to every parent in this city – and every child in this city – to conduct police stops appropriately, and based on crime reports, not based on racial or gender or age quotas. The more people we can keep from carrying guns… the more lives we can save… and the more success we’ll have keeping teenagers from making terrible decisions that they’ll regret for the rest of their lives.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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