Gun Violence: Community Intervention and Prevention
All too often, the people of America wake up to horrible news. Large and small cities across the country are experiencing a gun violence outbreak of epic proportions. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless when the ongoing efforts of our brave and capable law enforcement don’t appear to be putting a dent in preventing this ongoing trend of gun violence. Their work is invaluable and appreciated- but in order to make real change and turn the tide of violence, they need the community tobe involved and address the issue at it’s core. They need you.
Gun Violence is Everyone’s Problem
Chicago is often in the news just due to the sheer number of people who are victims to gun violence. In fact, according to this site that tracks gun violence statistics in Chicago, there have been 98 people shot there so far this year, including 19 homicides. At the time of this writing, there have been more homicides in Chicago than there have been days in January 2018. However, when you take theirpopulation size into account and compare cities by their gun violence rates per capita, a new story emerges. According to The Trace, New Orleans, Detroit and St. Louis are considered far more deadly than the Windy City.
It’s easy to think of gun violence as a big city problem. Unless you live in the heart of an area that experiences gun violence regularly, you may be under the impression that this is a terrible problem, but someone else’s problem. The Gun Violence Archive collects and verifies incidents of gun violence across the United States and has compiled this information in order to make it more understandable, digestible, and relatable. Once you look at the big picture, it’s easy to see that gun violence affects us all and knows no boundaries. At the time this piece was written, there have already been 1,906 gun incidents recorded and 569 gun deaths across the country in 2018.
By the time law enforcement has gotten involved, violence has already occurred. Wouldn’t it be better if the assistance of law enforcement was less necessary? What steps can be taken to prevent gun violence in the first place?
Community Based Intervention and Participation
Violent offenders aren’t born that way. A combination of bad circumstances and a lack of support can lead decent people to make poor choices. It’s vitally important to create and maintain local resources that help young people learn valuable skills that will sustain them for a lifetime and help them stay on a constructive path as they grow and evolve. Ensuring the availability of positive role models to guide at-risk youth makes a huge difference. Supporting these kids today will inspire them to help lift up the next generation tomorrow, breaking the vicious cycle where violence begets violence.
The first step to preventing gun violence is by addressing the deeply rooted issues that create an environment ripe for it. By supporting community driven endeavors that focus on nurturing the minds and hearts of the population, you can make a long-lasting and profoundly positive impact on the community as a whole.