‘Epidemic’ of gun violence prompts call for Virginia to use federal dollars to curb shootings
“The gun sales soared. They soared to such a degree that now we are dealing with Armageddon,” Boone said in an interview. “We have young folks shooting young folks. And that’s the reality of it.”
Boone, the Norfolk police chief, said community violence intervention programs can be helpful with the right people involved and the right level of commitment. But, he said, policymakers are “chasing our tail if we never impact the flow of guns.” To really make a difference, he said, there should have to be a paper trail every time a gun changes hands. (Virginia began requiring background checks on gun sales between private parties last year).
“It’s always been on the police to manage things that governments, generations ago, created,” Boone said. “In any urban setting that has poverty, it looks like Norfolk, it looks like Detroit, it looks like Richmond. It has looked that way for decades. I’m going to say it again, until we impact the flow and start tracking guns, we’ll continue to have this conversation.”