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When Randall Woodfin received the call that his older brother, Ralph Jr., had been shot, he rushed to the scene in the Southtown public housing community.

Then an assistant attorney for the city of Birmingham, Woodfin couldn’t bear to call his mom, so he called his dad and asked him to let her know: Her eldest son was gone.

Today, as the mayor of Birmingham, Woodfin is calling for a communitywide commitment to end gun violence. It’s a city long plagued by trauma in a state named by the CDC as the second deadliest in the nation for rate of firearm deaths. In 2017 in Alabama, there were 1,100 deaths by firearm — 573 suicides, 506 homicides, and 21 accidental discharges, according the Alabama Department of Public Health.

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