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Declining crime in NYC but too many stray bullets

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In the last month three people have been ‘accidentally’ killed by gunfire by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly are confident that the crime rate in NYC is declining. People being hit by stray bullets are all the more reason to continue the fight to get guns off the street.

While there have been a spate of murders in the city over the last month, people dying in the crossfire seems even more tragic. Police are struggling to keep gun violence under control but at times seem unable to prevent it.

The recent death of Sadie Mitchell has torn at New Yorker’s hearts and put fear into others. Sadie was 92 years old and did not deserve to die this way. It is understood that a group of ‘kids’ got into a fight outside Sadie’s home on East 224th Street home on the evening of Oct 20. Sadie Mitchell was inside cooking her dinner when a stray bullet flew through the window hitting her in the back. She called for her neighbour who tried to help and ran for an ambulance, but it was too late. An innocent life was wasted. Sadie Mitchell was considered a selfless, giving person and her death has touched many.

Speaking after Mitchell’s death Mayor Bloomberg said "What a sick world we have. We’ve just got to get guns off the streets." A thought reflected by the majority of New Yorkers.

On September 23 Aisha Santiago, a 25 year old mother lost her life protecting her 9 year old son. Walking out of a Bronx Laundromat she found herself smack in the cross fire of a gang gunfight. She covered her son and went for the ground and took the fire. She died at the scene. Another innocent person just minding her own business is now dead. "It was two groups of gang bangers shooting it out," a police source said

Friday afternoon, early October 13 year old Kevin Miller was walking to McDonalds on his way home from school and was fatally shot in the head by a stray bullet. A group of school kids were involved in a gunfight. Another innocent victim lost – his mother had told him that morning she loved him. The boy who shot Kevin Miller was 16 years old.

How do 16-year-old teenagers running around the city with guns? Where are they getting them? It seems fairly obvious that there has to be a crack down on the illegal sale of guns.

Mayor Bloomberg says much of the gun problem is due to gun traffickers and lenient laws in other states that make it easy to purchase guns. Bill Thompson (his opponent in the mayoral race) did not disagree. He went on to say that more involvement is needed in the communities. Authorities need to know the location of guns, and then get them off the street. As one neighbour of Kevin Miller’s yelled on camera “It’s not the police killing us. We’re killing ourselves”.