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Johnson has been involved in this mission for five years. Photo: Larry Krasner-Twitter.
Johnson has been involved in this mission for five years. Photo: Larry Krasner-Twitter.

Philly activist Jamal Johnson marches to D.C to stop gun violence

Jamal Johnson has been vocal about the ongoing gun violence that's plaguing the city.

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Philadelphia, once known for its cheesesteaks, Ben Franklin, and Rocky, is now known for a much more sobering reason: gun violence.

Residents of Philly are taking action and trying to figure out ways to save their children and others from guns, however, one in particular is going to great distances.

Activist Jamal Johnson is heading to Washington D.C to highlight the systematic gun violence occurring in Philadelphia on a national scale. Despite the grueling hot weather, Johnson is more than willing to walk over 100 miles to show government officials the dire help Philadelphia needs.

He also has a team of supporters who are joining him on the journey.

"We need to stop this," Johnson told Action News.

He is hoping to meet with the leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss ways they could persuade Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to treat gun violence as a public emergency.

"I mapped it out to three weeks," he said. "We've extended it so other people could join and be a part of the whole thing."

Johnson, who is from Germantown and served in the U.S. Marine Corps, has been very vocal about the gun violence epidemic that's plaguing adults and children. 

His mission, the “Stop Killing Us” march, began in 2017, when he was protesting against police brutality towards African-Americans all over the country. Many children and young men are dying from gun violence. 

This is his fifth time traveling to Washington D.C. to show the country, and the mayor, that something needs to be done.

In January 2021, on Martin Luther King Jr. Johnson received attention when he went on a 26-day hunger strike to bring awareness to the murders of individuals in Philly. News sources from all over Philadelphia covered his experience.

Johnson spent most of his time in front of City Hall protesting and demanding that Kenney do something about the gun epidemic. He also started a petition to get other locals involved in the plan.

It wasn't until Feb. 13 that Kenney finally acknowledged Johnson’s activism. 

So far in 2021, there have been 329 victims of gun violence, which is a 26% increase from last year, according to data from the City Controller’s Office.

Some believe the surge in gun violence has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, however, others believe it is due to the fact that access to guns are extremely accessible in the city.

Not only is gun violence very common in the city, children have been victims of accidental shootings in their homes.

In early July, a 10-year-old girl was shot and killed as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

This was not the first incident where a child accidentally shot themselves. While these tragedies are reckless and frustrating, they are also preventable.

Johnson hopes to see less lives being lost in the city where he grew up in.

Although he is working endlessly to bring attention to gun violence, he hopes major Kenney will finally do something about gun violence.

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