By JOHN KOPP, Delco Times, 6/25/13
Third in a six-part series on gun issues in Delaware County.
Jonathan Abdur Rahim King spends portions of his day seeking out youth in Chester, providing a listening ear and, at times, a guiding hand.
As part of the Brothers of Concern, a grassroots organization that leads various anti-violence efforts, King is trying to reach troubled youth in hopes that he can help steer them toward a productive lifestyle.
“My targeted crowd is the worst ones out there in the streets,” King said. “The ones that have been expelled from school. The ones that don’t have a job. The ones that are borderline homeless and on their way to jail (or) coming home from jail. That’s my targeted crowd.”
His targeted crowd also includes many people who illegally brandish firearms and engage in the gun violence that annually leaves 20-plus Chester residents murdered.
The national gun control debate primarily has focused on background checks, assault weapon bans and ammunition limits. At the county level, however, officials are taking a closer examination at the role illegal firearms play in the gun violence that persists in Chester and other hotspots throughout Delaware County.
King said illegally owned guns are “very prevalent” in the city. He likened guns to tattoos in that they are stylish demonstrations of stature. Big guns bring the owner more clout, he said.
“The bigger the gun, the bigger you are,” King said. “They got guns out here I have no clue how they got them. We’ve got all kinds of guns on the streets, but the big gun is always the gun that people are impressed with….
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