The recent killing of a Little Rock teenager by another teen is more than just a sign of rising violence. KARK 4 News anchor Bob Clausen believes it should be a call for everyone to look for new ways to declare Victory Over the Violence gripping the city.
We really need to take a moment. Numbers can tell the whole story or just part of it. Right now, the city of Little Rock has posted 61 homicides. That’s a lot, but also keep in mind homicide is one of, if not the least preventable of crimes, unless you station a police officer in every home. Even then, there are no guarantees.
Recently a teenager was shot and killed by another teenager. They were not sneaking smokes, sneaking out late or skipping school. One of them had a loaded gun and the other was killed with it, ending a life and essentially damaging the rest of another in a flash.
Regardless of what took place, this can’t be chalked up as ‘just another shooting in the middle of a “spike in crime.” Among the jaded and seasoned of us in the newsroom, it stood out. Those of us with teenage children took notice. Every parent should.
None of us said, “Well this is how life is these days.” No. It’s not, and this is not how teenagers lose their lives these days.
I do not know the kids involved or the families, or what happened leading up to the shooting. Accident or otherwise. But I do know when they were born, their families loved them. Still do. And each birthday that passed was celebrated as one of dozens they would have during a long happy life, not one of about only a dozen they’ll ever get.
If – God forbid – your child was born sick, and you were told, “There’s a 50-50 chance they’ll make it to 16 years old.” In a blink of an eye, you’d start looking for a cure and increase those odds and not stop until they are out of the woods.
Getting guns out of the hands of kids is only part of the cure, we must get these kids to see beyond the barrel of the gun before they have a finger on a trigger. That’s where solutions are found, taking the gun option out of the picture for kids.
The sad truth is kids have, and always will find themselves at odds, usually over stupid stuff and on occasion find themselves slugging it out.
I’d settle for more of that right now. No one has ever been killed by a stray punch coming through a bedroom window.
If you’re a kid or young adult running with the wrong crowd, you need, and are welcome, to be part of the conversation to help in understanding how together we can save lives and give everyone the best odds possible.
Let’s all take a moment and work to create victory over violence…