“No Shots Fired” – San Diego Asks Gangs to Stop Shooting Each Other

One anti-gun violence plan in San Diego asks gangs to stop shooting each other. The “No Shots Fired” program plans to negotiate a cease fire with the city’s local gangs for six months. While this may sound strange, it’s actually a better idea than just jamming more gun laws through. But can it work? That’s the question.

San Diego Superior Court photo showing shooting evidence after a drive by in Feb 2019 that killed two women and seriously wounded a 7 year old boy as he shielded a 2 year old.

No Shots Fired is a collaboration between the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, the Community Assistance Support Team, law enforcement and other city partners. Community organizations will be tapped to reach an agreement with gangs in areas most affected by violent crime, such as Southeastern San Diego, to agree to a cease fire for a six-month period.

Times of San Diego

No Shots Fired

According to San Diego’s Chief of Police, David Nisleit, gun violence rose 28% and homicides 10% in 2020. Gang members have been responsible for roughtly 20% of the gun calls. The San Diego police are providing a Community Oriented Policing grant of $40,000 to get the program off to a good start. (CBS8) San Diego had a similar program about 10 years ago, but it is unclear if it was effective in any way.

The program includes:

  • Community walks
  • Street side memorial services
  • Faith sponsored “peace meals” and organized outreach
  • Cease fire agreements with gang leaders
  • Wrap-around services in-person
  • Virtual meetings with gang members to discuss seasons of peace
  • Coordination with law enforcement
  • Scholarships
  • Opportunities to receive living assistance funds

So if the program worked ten years ago, why is there still gang violence today? If it did not work, why are they trying it again? The answer to that may be something like ‘desperation is the mother of invention.’ San Diego prides itself on being a relatively safer major city with a lower crime rate than say, Los Angeles. That dynamic is why city officials are attempting this No Shots Fired program: police say that more and more gang members are carrying weapons now and the calls are going up.

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