It’s time for all of Selma to react

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The time for debate has ended.

The time for action has come.

Two 17-year-old boys are being charged with capital murder.

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Issac Oliver and Jesse Brown, both students at Selma High, are charged with shooting and killing a 20-year-old man, Charles Brown.

The two minors are rightfully being charged as adults. Capital murder has only two possible sentences according to the district attorney’s office: life without parole, or execution.

However because of a recently passed law neither Jesse nor Issac can be executed for killing Brown, if they are found guilty.

Regardless, with one murder, there is the potential that at least three lives are over, not counting Brown’s family that must struggle to go on

It’s a scene we’re all-too familiar with here in Selma.

While it’s important to remember that both boys are still presumed innocent, it’s safe to say that 17-year-olds shouldn’t have been riding down Selma’s streets with a gun at 3:30 a.m.Sunday morning.

It’s easy to point fingers at their parents. It’s easy to blame easy access to weapons, but outside of arresting more gun-carrying children and throwing them in jail, it’s difficult to come up with any feasible solution.

In fact, it’s unlikely that any one solution would stem the tide.

Community, political and church leaders need to do come together and work together to try and quell the violence.

As a city, we’ve been kicking around an idea of a youth curfew for months if not years.

It’s time to move forward or come up with something else.

Last year, Mayor James Perkins Jr. pushed families to force their loved ones to give up their guns.

Only one person took advantage of the opportunity.

Solving this crisis is going to take a coordinated effort.

It will take tougher laws, tougher enforcement, better education, better home environments, better opportunities and the convincing trouble youths that a life of crime will often end in violence.