Moms Demand Action representative Judy Harbaugh delivered a
verbal and visual presentation that defined gun violence
that includes suicide and domestic violence. “Everyday
Americans are shot and killed by guns. Suicide is gun
violence and there is an increase of 56 percent in the last
ten years for individuals between 10-24 years of age.
Domestic violence is gun violence, there are 4.5 million
women who report being threatened with a gun [every year].
Gun violence can be prevented by requiring background checks
on all gun sales and addressing other concerns mentioned in
this presentation,” said Harbaugh.
Commissioner Armour presented the results of a community
survey that collected results from 180 Toledo-area youth in
2020. The results concluded that a high percentage of youth
feel violence has affected the community, have had a
negative interaction with police and feel racially targeted
by police officers. “We want to provide resources for our
kids,” said Armour.
Tracy Johnson, managing partner of SheRay’s & Associates
LLC, conducted a brief presentation about the four community
risk factors that indicate problems. The presented
information drew connections between availability of drugs,
family history behavioral problems or conflict, and lack of
commitment to school as indicators of youth violence. “Focus
on what the individual is doing, the kids, their families,
the school they attend and the community,” said Johnson.
The townhall concluded with volunteer-led discussion groups
that requested community input and group report-out on seven
What are you seeing in the community around violence?
What are the reasons for the increase in violence in the
What has been done in the past around violence?
How can the police and community relations be strengthened
in the community?
What do you think or feel should be done regarding the
Are there opportunities for members of the community (youth
and adults) to be positively engaged in the community?
What are some of the opportunities that should be put into
Several group responses recommended conducting in-school
classes on gun violence, organizing a city-wide gun buy-back
program, reducing access to illegal guns, meeting youth
where they are emotionally and mentally, creating year-round
or seasonal programs or sports for youth, and increasing
foot or bike patrol of officers to increase opportunities
for positive interaction.
The townhall was entitled, “Community Townhall Meeting on
Gun Violence: A Conversation with Commissioner JoJuan Armour,
the Mayor’s Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence.” The townhall
meeting was streamed live on 13abc Facebook page.