So-called gun violence is one of those problems that will likely be with us always. However, there’s no reason we have to act like it’s inevitable, either.
Recently, the parents of a teen killed at an Atlanta pool made a heartfelt plea.
A vigil was held on Thursday evening for 17-year-old Jakari Dillard, the rising senior at Life Christian Academy who was shot following an argument with the suspect at an Atlanta pool this past weekend.
Dillard’s aunt, Chrissandra Thomas was at the pool with all the family. She and all of Jakari’s siblings from ages 3 to 18 witnessed the deadly encounter.
She is now making a plea for teenagers to put the guns down.
“We just ask that the young men find something productive to do instead of harming others with things that are here to protect us and not harm others and inflict pain on others,” Thomas said. “We have to put things in order as far as the community so these kids don’t have to be in the streets.”
All over the country, people read this and nodded their heads. People there did the same. They all want these young men to put down the guns and end this senseless loss of life.
For Dillard’s family, all I can offer are my condolences. I won’t ask anything of you because, frankly, you’re dealing with more than enough.
As for everyone else, all those people nodding their heads, it’s time to step up instead of waiting for someone else to do it. Do you want the kids to put down the guns? Fantastic. Get to work.
Look around your community and find the violence prevention programs. Find them and reach out to them and ask what you can do to help. If they don’t need anyone, ask someone else. Worst comes to worst, volunteer as a Big Brother or Big Sister, since those help at-risk teens who might end up committing something like this.
I know it’s not cool these days, but contact your local police department when you know about a crime having been committed. Testify in court so those who commit crimes are locked up. You may just save that young man’s life, after all, but you also may have saved any number of other lives.
It’s easy to call on criminals to put down their guns. Anyone can do it.
What it doesn’t do, though, is make a damn soul put down their guns. It never has and it never will. It’s the epitome of a virtue signal.
If you actually mean it, then step up and start trying to do something about it. While we’ll always have a certain amount of “gun violence” in our country–every country does, after all–there are ways we can mitigate the amount. We can do things, but it has to start with people stepping up and offering to help.
Don’t listen to appeals from the family of dead teenagers and just nod your head sagely. Step up and try to actually do something. Even a less than successful effort is better than sitting on your butt waiting for the world to change around you.