Atlanta Community Leaders Call For Unity To Address Youth Gun Violence

Community leaders in Atlanta, Georgia, are calling for unity and action in response to another weekend of children falling victim to gun violence in the city.

Two teens, a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, were killed in a shooting on Saturday. Other children were shot in the incident, including an 11-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy. The deaths are the latest in a sharp rise in the number of children and teenagers killed by gun violence.

“In 2021, more than two dozen children and teenagers were killed by gun violence in metro Atlanta and several others were injured. That violence has continued in 2022,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “As of Dec. 4, there have been at least 71 children under the age of 18 shot. Of them at least 37 have died.”

In response to the news, Atlanta City Council member Byron Amos said, “It is an issue that has plagued us for a while, but now it is an issue that is coming to the forefront.”

“It is time for all of us to come together and figure out what we need to do to save our children,” Amos added.

Leaders of three grassroots organizations met for the first time at a church in the city on Monday.

“Outside of Clayton County, Atlanta, it’s a metro problem,” said Bruce Griggs, executive director of Operation Correct Start.

“We’ve got to get to these young people and change their values and beliefs,” Griggs added. “The disease of violence doesn’t care if you are a bad parent it doesn’t care if you live in Buckhead or Bankhead it is infecting these kids at an early stage.”

Griggs is a former juvenile prevention officer who now works with at-risk youth and believes that parents and community members need to take more responsibility.

“We’re expecting the police to save our kids. We are expecting the school system. It’s not their problem, these are our seeds and when we say our ‘I’m speaking to the Black community and they are doing it every day’ and so it’s on us,” said Griggs.

D & B Staff

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