Youth and gun violence problems needs resolve of community

Published 12:52 am Sunday, September 17, 2017

Our community has buried far too many of our youth over the last few years, victims of unnecessary gun violence.

Children — and that’s what teenagers are — lack the maturity to possess firearms.

That’s exactly why children are not allowed to legally possess firearms.

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And that’s what’s so troubling about the high number of area youth that have ready access to firearms.

Those weapons are stolen, obtained illegally from a relative or provided by an adult who should know better.

The source of those guns should be a focus of each and every criminal investigation that involves an underage person and a gun.

Both the city police chief and the county sheriff say the problem is much deeper, starting with a culture of violence pervades our community.

Friends and neighbors exacerbate that problem by simply choosing to look the other way when they see something wrong.

Who can blame them, though? They often make their decision to keep quiet out of fear for reprisal from the armed juveniles.

As Sheriff Travis Patten said recently, the solution will not be easy, but it’s not impossible.

The community must pull together and find to the strength to be bold in the face of trouble and resolve to say, “Enough” to the violence that all too often strikes our community with deadly accuracy.