June 25, 2017 3:11 am Last modified: 12:09 pm

Do Something, Anything, About the Violence

<p>We have lost another one of our children. In the last 21 days, since June 4, we have lost seven of our children.  Most of them were in their very early 20s. They seem almost like babies.</p>
<p>The sad part is that they probably didn&rsquo;t expect to make it through their 20s.  And we probably didn&rsquo;t expect them to either.  How cavalier we are about tossing them away and blaming them for it.</p>
<p>It seems our community has long since thrown its collective hands in the air, turned its head and walked away from our young people. We treat them as hopeless cases at best, or don&rsquo;t acknowledge them at all, at worst.</p>
<p>The complexities of what we are facing are deep and convoluted and long in the making.  There are no easy or quick answers. Our minds go blank eventually after trying over and over and over to &ldquo;figure it out&rdquo; as if there were some overnight answer.</p>
<p>But we cannot afford to throw up our hands, point the finger somewhere else or blame  the parents &ndash; even when their aren&rsquo;t any in the picture. We are lost for good if we continue to  stick our heads in the sandy beaches of our supposed paradise.  If we keep our heads buried, the rising tide of apathy, fear and frustration will drown us.</p>
<p>We have to try everything. And we have to do it now.   There is no one answer.  Every agency head, every senator, every citizen, every civic group needs to tackle this immediately and on every front. Our leaders at all levels need to implement the necessary mitigations, while the community begins the long hard task of improving our schools, social services, morals  and attitudes.</p>
<p>There are plenty of groups working on ending the killing, or at least acknowledging the need to stop it. Get together in small cooperative working groups and come up with something that works.  Then do it. This is not about foisting your ideas onto someone else to carry out.  And if you fail, do it again in some other way and keep doing it until you don&rsquo;t fail.</p>
<p>To our elected officials: Get the guns at all costs.  Bring in the National  Network for Safe Communities.</p>
<p>To the community that&rsquo;s being held hostage: Support the police, trust them. What&rsquo;s the option?  I think we&rsquo;re seeing the option.</p>
<p>For the rest of us in the village: Start seeing the problems with youngsters when they begin in first or second grade and intervene.   Stop telling them to shut up and start listening to the children; they have the answers to their own problems if only we would listen. Give them permission to think and to speak and be sincere by listening to them. <br />
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And we all need to think, ponder and pray while being open to some  insight that we may not have seen before.  Avoid at all costs opposition to new ideas, politics divisiveness and blame.  It will take all of us cooperating or we are bound to repeat and repeat and repeat, while an entire generation of young men dies or lives in fear for the rest of its short life.&nbsp;</p>

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