The United States tallied more than 31,000 gun deaths and another 73,000 nonfatal gun-related injuries in 2010, according to the most recent data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To give the public a picture of the carnage, artists working with Arcadia University's International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) Program will sketch 9,000 chalk body outlines along JFK Boulevard in Center City this Saturday. The grim reminder of gun violence is expected to stretch across four lanes for 10 city blocks.
Citizens are invited to attend and even sketch an outline to remember a relative or friend lost to gun violence. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. as part of the United Nations' International Day of Peace and Peace Day Philly. At noon, participants will pause to observe a moment of silence. A candelight vigil will cap the day at 7 p.m. at 30th Street and JFK Boulevard.
"American Casualties: A Chalk Drawing" is the vision of artist Peter Quinn, an art professor at Montgomery County Community College. Amy Cox, director of Arcadia's IPCR program, is organizing the effort. Quinn did a similar display on the Boulevard in May.
In Philly, homicides have topped 300 for each of the past five years, but this year promises to be less deadly. Police report 175 murders so far this year, down 41 percent from the same time last year, police data shows.