Brooklyn Boro

The GodSquad to interview researcher Thomas Abt about new book on gun violence

December 12, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick
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Thomas Abt, a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and former Obama administration official, lays out an ambitious plan in his new book, “Bleeding Out.” It’s one that he says would reduce gun violence by 50 percent in 40 of the most violent cities in the U.S.

Abt will be in conversation on Tuesday, Dec. 17, with Pastor Gil Monrose, president of the 67th Clergy Council (aka The GodSquad) — a group of local clergy doing work on the ground to reduce gun violence in Brooklyn.

The event will focus on the consequences of urban gun violence and the hidden effects on those working on the issue — from family members to houses of worship to those on the frontlines, like nurses and doctors.

In his new book, Abt says that to solve urban violence, communities have to focus on that violence instead of on its other associations, like poverty, gangs and drugs. His eight-year plan would cost about $100 million per year and save 12,000 lives, he writes.

“Everyone understands it is a multi-pronged effort to reduce gun violence,” Monrose told the Brooklyn Eagle. “It can’t only be police, but also must include community organizations, gun violence interrupters, the faith community and others to produce a strategic approach to reducing gun violence.”

He says this is why the discussion will involve the community. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and speak with Abt, and The GodSquad is focused on having young people in the room to talk about their vision for community involvement and reducing violence.

“I hope we can figure out how to frame the narrative differently,” Monrose said. “We want to change how the outside world looks at the issue so we can receive adequate funding for nonprofits and groups working on gun violence. Part of this is figuring out how we can stop criminalizing black men, even after they’ve been shot and killed.”

Monrose says this is a chance for advocates and policymakers to look at some of Abt’s suggestions, see what they are already doing and what new ideas can form with his guidance and perspective.

About 30 books will be given away for free at the event.

The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Khan Auditorium at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. RSVP here.

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  1. Reporter1

    The recent murder of Barnard College student Tessa Majors, the daughter of a professor, should be a wake up call for academicians and local politicians whose catch and release policies have led to a rise of disorder in New York City. The perpetrators of violence are a cancer to our communities. If we allow this cancer to spread unchecked, the consequences will be devastating.