There are no easy answers to violence

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 24, 2004

It’s happened again.

Saturday night another round of knuckleheads opened fire on the streets of Selma.

Two people were wounded in the separate incidents.

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We should be used to this by now, our streets are simply not safe, especially at night.

So what can we do? If we follow the pattern of the other shootings, it will go something like this: There’ll be another round of meetings. Politicians will wring their hands, citizens will vow to be more vigilant and the newspaper will turn out yet another editorial.

Maybe eventually that will help.

The roots of Selma’s problems, of our state’s problems and our nation’s problems go far deeper than any politician can dig out.

We have to change the way we live, the way our children are raised, the cycle of poverty that helps turn innocents into criminals.

We have to go deep. This problem isn’t one that can be solved in a day, a week or maybe even a generation.

Until our teenagers and our young adults stop treating a gun like a fashion accessory for a night on the town, meetings, hand-wringing and editorial writing won’t do much to make our streets, our lives, any safer.

Are there things we can do to curb the violence now? Sure.

More police, more training, more patrols and more vigilance will help, but most of those things cost money.

They cost a lot of money.

Selma’s citizens and it’s government has to decide what is important. If we are going to get serious about stopping the seemingly endless barrage of gunfire, then there are some hard choices to make.

It may cost more tax dollars.

Are we willing to pay them?