We all must work to protect lives

Published 12:11 am Friday, August 26, 2016

The anguish on the faces of those who knew the victims of a double homicide speaks volumes.

The culture of violence in our community must be stopped.

Over the past few years, more and more of our community’s young men have resorted to violent means to solve problems and disputes.

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The result is often tragic loss of life on one side of the dispute and then decades in jail — or more — for the shooter. Half a dozen or more lives are ruined in a split second of muzzle blast.

Law enforcement can only do so much. It’s not illegal — at least for law-abiding citizens — to carry weapons.

But the circumstances that often lead up to violence can be curtailed, at least in part.

Law enforcement officers must work to end loitering, closing nightclubs earlier and obviously trying to redouble efforts to stop illegal drug trafficking.

All lead to crimes, often-violent crimes.

This week, a 16 year old has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting deaths of two other young men.

How a 16 year old gained access to a firearm should be top among the investigators’ questions. If it can be found that an adult somehow helped provide the weapon to the teenager, that adult needs to be charged, too.

Young people lack the judgment to legally carry weapons. That’s why we have laws that prohibit that. Not until we pass through the turbulent teenage years do we begin to understand how important and precious human life is.

Critics may say that those who live a violent, reckless lifestyle are simply choosing to do so and thus may pay the consequences in the end.

But from our perspective all human life is precious, and we must work together as a community to protect each and every life as if it were our own.