WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Community advocates against gun violence reacted to President Joe Biden's new plan to reduce crime announced Tuesday.
The big takeaway from local community liaisons and advocates is that there is no plan that is one size fits all.
Data gathered by Everytown for Gun Safety shows that 76% of all homicides in Florida involve a gun.
Florida was ranked 22nd among the states with the highest rate of gun violence from 2016 to 2020.
On average, for those years 37% of all gun deaths were homicides.
Ricky Aiken with Inner City Innovators — an organization aiming to help mentor at-risk youth in West Palm Beach and around Palm Beach County — agrees with parts of the plan but disagrees with spending $37 billion to include more police training.
He believes it's important to fund police departments but said the money can be better spent by re-training police and recruiting.
"If you look around our communities, you really have to ask the question, what resources are available for the young men most likely to perpetrate or be victimized by gun violence," Aiken said. "Athletics, community centers, there's not that much access to them as there was in the past, and there's a huge resource gap for people between the ages of 15 to 21. I feel like if we had more support, more programming, more, not less, resources aimed at this demographic we'd make a lot more headway than a lot of ways to spend money."
He also said that while banning certain weapons may help the situation with school shootings — where shooters typically bring in a gun from home — he believes the approach doesn’t fit all gun violence - where inner-city gun violence also involves stolen weapons.