It’s a crisis that is not immune to Mississippi but one that is drastically increasing.
At one time, gun violence was an issue that was an urban problem, one that was nearly exclusive to major metropolitan areas in our nation. That has changed and changed in an astonishing way.
No longer are Mississippians feeling safe leaving their doors unlocked at home when they go to bed. No longer do they feel safe walking their neighborhoods at night or safely driving our streets without the threat of suddenly being carjacked.
An increasing number of gun violence reports have involved our youth. Through the first three months of this year, nearly 300 teens (ages 12-17) have died as a result of guns in the U.S., according to the Gun Violence Archive.
A recent high-profile incident that took place on the Mississippi Gulf Coast involved a group of teenagers riding in a vehicle threatening motorists with what was believed to be a handgun. The vehicle was pulled over by law enforcement and several of the teens fled from the scene on foot with one holding in his hand a firearm. An officer discharged his weapon at the fleeing teen, resulting in his death.
Prior to the officer being cleared recently of any wrongdoing by a grand jury, there had been months of protests directed at law enforcement about the tragic teen’s death. A teen dying is not something any of us wants, but to blame law enforcement for the actions of these teens is not justified. Our youth must be made aware that actions have consequences and can result in a tragedy such as this.
Now, these teens didn’t actually carjack a motorist but were using a firearm in a threatening way that resulted in law enforcement getting involved and ultimately led to the teen’s tragic death.
But how many times have we seen innocent people being carjacked at gunpoint or kidnapped while just jogging in their neighborhood? Remember the teacher in Memphis? Yeah … she’s pretty much a forgotten statistic in this country about violent crime. When are we going to hold our local, state, and national elected officials accountable for doing something about the gun violence and crime that takes place in our nation every single day? It’s time we focus on what is happening in our nation today when it comes to rampant crime.
President Joe Biden believes more gun control measures are the answer to violent crime, using executive action to enforce laws to make it more difficult for people deemed “dangerous” to purchase a firearm. To me, that’s not the answer and just another way of taking away more civil liberties in our nation.
I believe the answer lies within the family and our nation must return to its moral compass of consequences following actions, as well as strongly enforcing the difference between right and wrong among our youth at the age when they should know the difference before their actions result in dire consequences.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of SuperTalk Mississippi Media.