Stop Shootings, Not Gangs?

One thing that really stuck out to me was in the article “Blocking the Transmission of Violence.” Kotlowitz said that CeaseFire doesn’t aim to get people out of gangs or to interfere in their drug trade. They only focus on Preventing shootings. I don’t know wether to agree or disagree. Im torn in between because I think CeaseFire is an awesome organization, its stopping people from being killed! But only focusing of shootings isn’t going to stop the cycle of violence. In the beginning of this article Kotlowitz tells a story about Martin Torres and how his nephew was shot and Torres wanted revenge. This just shows that violence is a cycle and needs to be stopped. Not that CeaseFire isn’t a great organization, but I just feel like it isn’t enough.  If CeaseFire is really working and is making the shootings stop then if we expand Ceasefire maybe it could stop kids from joining gangs too. I feel like kids that live in poverty live in an environment in which gangs and violence are normal. So it becomes an ongoing cycle. Since the youth is brought up with all of that around them of course they will join it when they get older. And just like that their kids will grow up around it and become immune to it and join when they get older. So stopping shootings is a step in the right direction, but is it enough? Kotlowitz doesn’t talk about this in his article but I think he should have. What do YOU think?

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2 Responses to Stop Shootings, Not Gangs?

  1. Along with wrtierx3 I was very intrigued by the article’s statement about stopping shootings but not gangs, so I did some digging on CeaseFire to try and figure out what exactly their thought process is behind their approach and what results it sees. According to its website (http://ceasefirechicago.org/how-it-works) CeaseFire is based off a three step model. The first step is identifying and detecting. The second step is interruption, intervention and risk reduction. The third step is changing behavior and norms. These steps, when put together, effectively carry out CeaseFire’s mission to decrease shootings. To track their progress in lowering the shooting percentages, CeaseFire gathered statistics. In Chicago there has been approximately a 30% reduction in shootings since CeaseFire has become a presence in the neighborhood. (http://ceasefirechicago.org/data-research/doj-evaluation/overall-changes). In order to better understand CeaseFire’s mission I viewed the trailer for the documentary “The Interrupters” and was moved by the brief introduction to the film. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS5Hjhy1RhM&feature=relmfu) The film follows an interrupter named Ameena whose father was a main leader of a Chicago gang. Ameena seeks to get to violent teens ages 16-25 before the police do. She uses her past and background experience with violence in order to prevent current, active gang members from shooting. There is a riveting scene in which she is speaking at the funeral of a victim to violence. She makes it clear that this has got to stop because just as these young kid’s lives are beginning violence comes and puts them in a casket. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Bk6Dd26FA) After watching these videos and reading the supplemental materials, I have come to a greater understanding of why CeaseFire approaches violence the way it does and why it works. The interrupters seek to ameliorate violence from the inside out. They start from the heart of the matter and watch how the violence uncoils and decompresses from there.

  2. Along with wrtierx3 I was very intrigued by the article’s statement about stopping shootings but not gangs, so I did some digging on CeaseFire to try and figure out what exactly their thought process is behind their approach and what results it sees. According to its website (http://ceasefirechicago.org/how-it-works) CeaseFire is based off a three step model. The first step is identifying and detecting. The second step is interruption, intervention and risk reduction. The third step is changing behavior and norms. These steps, when put together, effectively carry out CeaseFire’s mission to decrease shootings. To track their progress in lowering the shooting percentages, CeaseFire gathered statistics. In Chicago there has been approximately a 30% reduction in shootings since CeaseFire has become a presence in the neighborhood. (http://ceasefirechicago.org/data-research/doj-evaluation/overall-changes). In order to better understand CeaseFire’s mission I viewed the trailer for the documentary “The Interrupters” and was moved by the brief introduction to the film. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS5Hjhy1RhM&feature=relmfu) The film follows an interrupter named Ameena whose father was a main leader of a Chicago gang. Ameena seeks to get to violent teens ages 16-25 before the police do. She uses her past and background experience with violence in order to prevent current, active gang members from shooting. There is a riveting scene in which she is speaking at the funeral of a victim to violence. She makes it clear that this has got to stop because just as these young kid’s lives are beginning violence comes and puts them in a casket. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Bk6Dd26FA) After watching these videos and reading the supplemental materials, I have come to a greater understanding of why CeaseFire approaches violence the way it does and why it works. The interrupters seek to ameliorate violence from the inside out. They start from the heart of the matter and watch how the violence uncoils and decompresses from there.

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