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Originally published as "Philadelphia Has a Crisis of Homicides, but Also of Neglecting Gun Violence Survivors," The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 5, 2021.
Gun violence has spiked dramatically in Philadelphia, and 2021 is on pace to be the city’s most violent year in history. In recent months, a flurry of articles has been written on this dramatic uptick, focusing largely on the reasons behind the rise in homicides during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But while it is crucial to explore why homicides are rising, the focus on murders conceals the reality that roughly 70%-80% of shooting victims survive their attack. Advances in emergency treatment and medical technology have helped save countless lives that would otherwise be lost to gun violence in recent decades. Yet, with their lives forever altered, the harmful fallout of the recent gun violence surge will not end for these survivors or their communities by bringing down the homicide rate alone.