I’m not a big football fan, but the news of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor’s murder shocked and saddened me.
After reading about 24-year-old Taylor’s death yesterday and the toddler he left behind, I read today about the death of LaTora Wiley,16, and the 25-year-old man accused in her death.
The seemingly senseless taking of lives is insane and seems to be getting out of control, especially with the younger sector of the population.
What can be done to stop all of these murders of people not even old enough to fulfill the dreams they’re still in the process of dreaming about?
I think most of us look to our elected officials and law enforcement, but I think the solution may lie on a much more local and manageable level.
It starts at home, with the family. I really feel that instead of hollering about the mayor or the police department’s handling of crime, families of young offenders should be held responsible. They can get to their children way before the police do, way before they even pick up that gun, knife, baseball bat, or whatever their weapon of choice is.
I know there are exceptions. There is no sure-fire way that will keep kids from attacking/killing each other in every case. In some instances there may be parents that do all they can to raise moral, law abiding kids but things happen anyway.
From there, it goes to the community. If you’ve got the time, patience and resources, why not volunteer with underprivileged or troubled youth in the city. I know sometimes it seems far fetched to think that we can make a difference, maybe change the path of another human being, but it’s been done. I mean, look at it this way, being a mentor to someone who doesn’t have it at home could save someone else's life – be it the potential offender or victim.
Before I start getting all of the negative feedback and folks start to think I’m crazy, let me just say I’m not saying that my suggestions are going to heal the world, make it a better place. It’s just one part of a solution that will need everybody’s input.
And while some people shake their head, mumbling, “That’ll never work,” I challenge you to spend more time coming up with helpful ideas than shooting everyone else’s ideas down.
I know what I’m saying is nothing new. There are volunteers and parents out there everyday doing exactly what I’m talking about. Much gratitude to those people for spending their time doing work many of us don’t even think about doing.
OK, I'll step down off my soapbox now, but would like to hear your thoughts.