The murder of rapper Young Dolph in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee has raised many concerns about the cities rising murder and crime rates. Why are so many young black children being killed on the streets of Memphis?
According to WREG, as of Nov. 8, there have been 268 homicides in Memphis which is outpacing the cities record-breaking murder count from 2020. But it’s not just an uptick in murders that has the community on edge. Over the last three months, there have been more than 1,800 aggravated assaults, 100 carjackings, and 500 robberies. As of November, the Memphis Police Department has responded to 15,000 shootings.
Some in the community are pointing to Tennessee’s new gun law which allows a person to open carry or concealed carry a handgun without a permit.
The law, which went into effect July 1, also eliminates all training requirements needed to carry a handgun in the state. There are still places guns are not permitted such as schools and parks, but the new law will remove the misdemeanor offense one would receive carrying a handgun without a permit. It also allows for a permit-less loaded handguns or ammo to be left in a vehicle.
These conditions have led to more senseless crimes and loss of life that could have been avoided. Without proper gun training and easier access to handguns, Memphis has already seen a spike in violent crimes.
In September WREG reported that 1,286 guns had been stolen from cars in the city. That was 61% from the previous year and police believe many of those guns are being used to commit carjackings, aggravated assaults, and senseless murders.
Although Young Dolph is the recent tragedy to happen on the streets of Memphis, many folks in the community have lost loved ones due to gun violence.
City officials have been actively working to find solutions to reduce the violence. Memphis is one of 15 cities to have met with the White House about ways to address and reduce violence in their communities. But for locals in the city change isn’t coming faster than the guns and as more young people turn to bullets to solve their battles more innocent people will die.
Below is an aggregated map of homicides in Memphis, Tennessee.