As Biden Pledges Police Funding to Curb Gun Violence, Activists Call for Community Investment

President Joe Biden has vowed to crack down on illegal gun dealers and to boost funding for police departments as part of an effort to combat a spike in gun violence across the country. Rejecting calls by activists to defund the police, Biden said cities could expand their police forces by diverting federal money allocated for the pandemic. He also pledged to strengthen enforcement of existing gun laws. The rise in gun violence can be traced back to “a lack of resources” in many communities, says Erica Ford, a longtime anti-violence activist in New York City and CEO and founder of LIFE Camp, Inc. “There’s no job opportunities. There’s no education opportunities,” Ford says. “These preconditions that we face in our community help the disease of violence rise to a level that is unaddressable at the time because we don’t have the tools and resources to address them.”

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