There’s nothing like a little race politics to get the rhetorical blood flowing. But before I go there, here’s the set-up. “In the aftermath of a weekend shooting that left a 17-year-old girl dead and a star football player critically injured, [Youngstown] Mayor Jay Williams pledged Sunday night the city will swiftly crack down on gun violence,” vindy.com reports. “The mayor spoke out after the shooting of Jamel Turner, a talented but troubled athlete, and the killing of 17-year-old Tracy Banks early Saturday on the city’s West Side.” Troubled? So it wasn’t one of those innocent bystander deals. West Side? Read: African American. OK, so the Mayor is doing something . . .
The city, in cooperation with federal authorities, will embark on the Violence-Gun Reduction Interdiction Program to clear guns from the city’s streets this summer, Williams said.
The Clinton-era program sounds good, but the gun tracing initiative hasn’t reported results since 2000. The ATF website doesn’t even list it amongst their programs (The Violent Crime Impact Team is the biz these days). And there there’s this:
The culture of crime and violence, the mayor said, “just brings tragedy.”
Which opened the door to this comment from UnionForever:
Until the families of the African American population in Youngstown learn what family moral values are, nothing will change. These teen and young adult gangstas with their guns know only one thing – shoot and murder whoever you want. I wish Mayor Jay well in stopping the violence, but the current African American culture will be difficult to over come even for one of their own.
Wow. Consider that can of worms officially opened. For my part, I’ll say this: the African American community needs its own NRA: a gun rights group that arms law-abiding citizens and helps channel the community’s vibrant (yes, that’s the word) youth gun culture towards safe and responsible shooting. Yes?