Guns will never solve problems

Published 10:59 pm Thursday, February 24, 2011

For months we have railed against the increase in gun violence in Selma, the escalation in violent crime and the growing number of what is often called “black on black crime.”

For months we have said enough is enough. We have called on civic, community and city leaders to stand together in not only finding a solution to the problems facing our city, but also finding the root of such problems.

We have said using excuses as poor economic conditions; lack of jobs and high unemployment as reasons for high crime is foolhardy.

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But, today, we are again caught speechless, wordless in our business. We don’t know what to say. We have run out of nouns, verbs and adjectives. We no longer know what it will take to stop the dangerous trend this city is on.

Thursday night, two men were shot in a Selma neighborhood. One was reportedly shot in the back.

And, today, we are calling for help. We are calling on community leaders, leaders with church organizations, charity groups, foundations and neighborhood watches to stand up and sound off. This newspaper and a few city leaders cannot be the only ones calling for this to stop.

With the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee scheduled for next week, we have an opportunity to share a message with the young men and women in our community that their civil rights, their civil liberties were strengthened a decade ago. Men and women braved beatings and even death to stand for what they believed.

Today, with the onset of crime, their hard work to make this a better community for all races, all creeds and all sexes is threatened.

Let us take this opportunity to call on those who would settle debates with a gun, to stop, put down the gun and find a different path. Find a way to better the community in which you live, rather than bringing it further down with crime, drugs and violence.

In the 1960s, brave foot soldiers used a non-violent way to change the world for better. Let the 2010s be known for when Selma found a better way than crime and began to live up to the promise of those of a generation ago walked for.