It’s always good to learn that our editorial voice is in sync with progressive developments in our community, and that congruity is certainly evident this week when you read the op-ed by John Burnett. In more than one way, we are on the same page. Here’s what we wrote before receiving Burnett’s piece, and we think they complement each other very well.
The increasingly troubling violence in our society related to the proliferation of guns is not an abstraction to Jackie Rowe-Adams. Two of her sons were shot and killed, so she knows first-hand about this pressing dilemma.
Her personal and political commitment to the eradication of guns in our community is something that we wholeheartedly endorse, and we support her organization, Harlem Mothers SAVE, and the scheduled Peace Walk June 11.
In one of our stories this week, we discuss this problem, both in the context of the number of police shootings this year and the overall homicides, none more distressing than the gunfire emitted over Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, where 56 people were shot, 12 of them fatally.
Demanding the elimination of guns in our society is something we’ve discussed time and again in our editorials, and we’ve dispensed as many words as the bullets that have ripped through our neighborhoods and the bodies of our loved ones. Would that each word we write about this problem be one less bullet riddling our safety and security, disturbing our peace and comfort.
But we all know the futility of such a dream. Even so, we have no recourse but to renew this request from season to season, hoping that somehow it reaches a few of those in possession of the weapons who will see the folly, see the danger in pulling the trigger and dislodging yet another deadly bullet.
As Rowe-Adams has noted, stopping the flow of guns into our community is the first line of defense after we school our children on how to avoid those places where they are more vulnerable to gunplay and to seek safer environs, though it’s hard to figure where that might be. The police have informed us of the pipeline of guns into our neighborhoods but they seem helpless in curtailing the flow. In one of her recent emails, Rowe-Adams noted, “Many parents are still surprised about where kids can get them [guns], but bodegas, certain housing projects and city parks have been identified as locations where gun sales take place.”
These locations are good places to begin the process of halting the flow, but it has to be a cooperative effort that includes the police, elected officials, storeowners and community activists, including Rowe-Adams.
One part of this equation has been active since 2006, when Rowe-Adams launched her organization. She and her members are once again leading a Peace Walk Thursday, June 11 at 2 p.m. at West 128th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and St. Nicholas Avenue, where the walk will commence with a destination to Rucker Park, West 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. (See Burnett’s article for more information about the event.)
This Peace Walk is a step in the right direction, and it’s one we all should take.