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Following An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility and Violence, what can people – regardless of their race — do to curb gun violence in our communities?

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We live in a culture that glorifies gun violence. From movies, books, games, guns are seen as an equalizer or as a tool to get what you want or keep what you have. What is a life worth? That is a question that is never asked but it’s answer is vital to identify the issue in an extremely multilayered and complex issue. How do we view each other as human beings despite our differences in race, creed, religion, income level, neighborhoods, education level? Human laws cannot govern the heart, so when we view one another, what do you see?

Mentally healthy and economically sound people do not shoot others. We, as a country, need to help the mentally ill find treatment and to help the disenfranchised find meaningful work. The overly political conversation about guns in society is not progressing. This is unfortunate. However, if it leads us to address the deeper causes of gun violence, then we are taking a step in a positive direction.

I think I’ve just read one of the most thoughtful and well reasoned comment sections that I’ve ever seen. You folks do a great job at the Undefeated. I still miss Grantland but I’m beginning to believe your work and your writing is more important. (One last thing while I have you, Where is that Ralph Wiley Memorial Scholarship ? – dude was spot on. )

It has always irked me when they say that the police are discriminating against minorities, because I look at the statistics and I see a higher % of minorities living in poverty and poverty=level of crime and I ask why are the police the scapegoat when the problem isn’t the police but the standards of living that must change. If we work on improving the communities rather than hindering the police, we will see a more positive result than we are getting now.

It starts with our (American) culture. Hollywood and video games glorify gun violence as a way to ‘win’, ‘get your objective accomplished’, and ‘be respected’. Why would we not expect that to carry over into real life? That needs to stop. Guns for self-protection is a right we should embrace. Anyone should be able to carry a gun for protection- but we should NEVER know you have one unless your life is IN DANGER. Being disrespected isn’t a valid reason for EVER pulling a gun out.

Education always seems to be the answer, but we need to be specific. Gun violence doesn’t typically occur while they are in school getting their education. We need to do more to get them there. Make schools a haven Then after school we need to find jobs for these young people to be involved in. Make them feel like they are a part of the community and they will help protect it and grow. Finally we need to encourage kids to go after two years and one year degrees rather than thinking four years is the only way.

As policy director for a national organization that works with gang-involved youth the three things that we know work but don’t invest in are: 1) addressing the unmet needs of young people, including family tension, school performance, community safety, policing etc. 2) focusing and building on youths’strengths and interests and 3) hiring people from the community to work directly with young people on issues 1& 2. Many youth who pick up guns desire what we all do: a sense of belonging, competency and autonomy. We should work towards helping kids achieve these as a means to addressing gun violence.

I think people should just focus on their education or the education of others and not purchasing guns at a young age. Also I think the government should change the law from being able to purchase a gun at the age of 18 to at least the age of 30. My reason for this is because the brain at that age or between that age is still developing and you basically have a fully developed brain by the age of 30. If this were to happen I think the streets/neighborhoods will be safer instead of being in fear.

Gun violence effects everyone. But we can wait until it effects us specifically to speak up and say something. I starts in the communities where the violence exists. We have to stop being okay with the fact that someone got killed in the street. We have to start speaking up not as a means of protest but as a means of getting killers off the street. The stop snitching campaign is fine until its your family member, what sense does this make. Instead of people being “Woke” about senseless campaigns lets be “Woke” when reality is right here now!

First and foremost, education must be at the center of attention. Without proper education, kids are left unchallenged and therefore don’t question the premise of predicaments later in life. As a community, we must demand better education for our children; and not accept mediocrity. City leaders, Congressmen, anybody within the education system who has the ability to implement change must be approached and challenged on the subject of education in our neighborhoods. Kids are eager to learn everyday, but when the education systems deems them unworthy; they eventually lack the motivation to continue.

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