SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The effects of gun violence are all around you: in your neighborhood with memorials, headlines in the news, and now gun violence accounts for 43 percent of deaths in the United States, according to the CDC.
Syracuse Resident Clifford Ryan is doing something about it with his boots on the ground. Ryan is the founder of OG’s Against Violence, a non-profit organization that he started where Ryan goes to communities of violence and talks to community members about conflict resolution strategies and the problem of violence. The organization is inspired by his personal experience with gun violence with the loss of his son, Duriel Ryan, at 17 years old in 1999.
Ryan relates to community members because of the loss of his son.
“I know what that hurt, pain and anger is like,” Ryan said.
In 2021, Syracuse had a record high of 32 homicides. 78% of those homicides were gun-related, and as of 2022, Syracuse has three homicides.
Ryan has made it his life mission to decrease the violence in communities, even in situations that have nearly cost him his life.
“They have that gun on them while I’m talking to them, and I’m talking to them, and I’m occupying them for two or three hours. Just having a conversation with them and in that time stopping them from going to do shootings,” Ryan said.
The fight to end gun violence is one Ryan is committed to with hopes his actions help make sure gun violence no longer affects this community.