Governor Tom Wolf picked a chilly Friday afternoon to drop some cold hard cash on two of Chester’s top youth sports programs to do the work of combating gun violence. The Chester Panthers Community Foundation and Chester Biddy Basketball Association were awarded $50,000 and $25,000 respectively from the $15.7 million Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program administered through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. This may not be the last of the money coming to Chester as another round of funding is expected in early 2022 from State government.
The Chester Panthers anticipate using the funds to expand their youth services to help the community, and Chester Biddy will provide social-emotional gun prevention workshops to youth participants.
Gov Wolf said that 40 organizations all across the state got this money who are on the front lines of the communities, in a position to actually do something about this gun violence where across the state in 2020 78.3 percent of the homicides were committed by gun.
Chester’s police commissioner Steven Gretsky brought it closer to home when mentioning how many of Chester’s 18 homicides this year are related to guns and part of the problem are “ghost guns,” or untraceable guns that find their way into the hands of juveniles.
On Thursday, Governor Wolf vetoed Senate Bill 565, which would allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a background check or permit. It’s ludicrous to me how a bill like that could even come up for a vote in state senate. It just show the priorities of legislators from our mostly rural state are still not in line with those from Pennsylvania’s populated urban centers where guns serve a far different purpose than guns in the mountains and dense forest land of Penn’s Woods.
My favorite quote from all those who spoke came from Gov Wolf who said…
Gun violence tears our communities apart and every year, gun violence costs Pennsylvania a piece of our future. It costs us our precious, irreplaceable lives — loved ones, friends, neighbors.