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WTVM Editorial 01/26/22: Guns and Gangs

WTVM Editorial 01-26-22: Guns and Games
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 2:46 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Recently we reported on the beyond tragic shooting of 71-year-old grandmother Barbara Luke, caught in the crossfire of violent crime as she drove through her Delray Drive neighborhood.

Her story brings the issue of deadly crime in Columbus to the forefront once again.

Our reporter James Giles shared the amazing audio of an unrelated hail of gunshots, really too many to count, just like shots fired a day later - that took her life.

It seems unreal, but that random gunfire was most definitely real. Police know most indiscriminate gunfire is the product of gangs with guns.

These young criminals have no understanding of how easily a life can be snuffed out, and no respect for the power of the weapons they fire so thoughtlessly.

We simply must confront the gang problem to get gunfire off the streets.

To do that, we must support our local police.

Police officers need the tools and manpower to get into the community where these gangs thrive, so they can make the person-to-person connections it takes to solve and prevent violent crimes.

We should also expect parents to take an active role in knowing what their children are doing.

Hoping they don’t fall in with the wrong crowd is not a winning strategy.

Kids need structure and most of all, kids need expectations in order to succeed.

Tell your children you expect them to be productive citizens and hold them to it.

One role model for a successful life is former gang member Brandon Fleming, who now leads the debate team at Harvard University.

We featured his local appearance on the news. His inspiring story should be shared with every teenaged boy and girl.

We can turn violent crime around, starting by encouraging parents to be involved and by backing the best tactics of local police.

Even so, it will take everyone at home, in schools and in churches working together, encouraging each one of our children to make the best choices they can make every day, to get on a path to success.

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