Baton Rouge residents call for end to "gun violence"

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

It’s always tempting to lay the cause for so-called gun violence at the feet of something simple. Poverty, for example, or the ever-popular “availability of guns.” You can then make a lot about this one thing and never really have to worry about all the other causes for that same violence.

Because there are more causes.

And because there are so many causes, just calling on people to stop isn’t likely to make much of an impact. Unfortunately, some in Baton Rouge is doing just that.

People within the Baton Rouge community made an impassioned plea Monday, Jan. 10, to end gun violence after a string of shootings over the weekend.

Storm Ankrom, who lives near where one of the shootings happened, said this has become his new normal.

“You know, it’s the lifestyle people are living,” said Ankrom. “When you get caught up in a dangerous game, then it’s consequences to that. What goes up must come down.”

However, one pastor in the area seems to have a better grasp on how to address the problem.

See, he thinks it’ll take hard work.

Dale Flowers, pastor at New Sunlight Baptist Church, said the key to solving this problem starts with prayer but it will have to take a lot of work.

“I think, I know the church has the answer,” said Flowers.

He believes there’s a disconnect between the church and certain communities that have contributed to the rise of crime. He wants to see more community involvement, forums, and programs but he said it will have to take a group effort from the city, BRPD, and other community groups to pull this off.

Now, I’m not sure if he recognizes just how difficult a job he’s talking about and vague mentions of “programs” aren’t illuminating, but he at least acknowledges that just calling for an end to violence isn’t going to cut it.

I mean, I’ve never heard of a reformed criminal who says they stopped shooting at people because someone called on them to stop.

It simply doesn’t happen.

Sure, some may stop because of their mothers, their girlfriends, their sisters, or someone like that asked them to, but that’s different. That’s a person-to-person thing that happens because of that deep connection. It’s unlikely anyone else would listen to that same person.

Ending so-called gun violence is a lost cause, but reducing it takes a lot of work and a lot of different approaches. You have to look at the roots of “gun violence” and see what it’ll take to stop someone from pursuing that life or what you need to get to get them out of it.

That’s not easy because, as I said, there’s no one cause. You have to find them all and address them as best you can.

And you have to understand that you’re not going to help everyone, too.

Of course, for those who just call for an end to so-called gun violence, well, they’re never going to accomplish anything except to pat themselves on their own backs for working oh-so-hard at accomplishing nothing because they actually did nothing.