As parents we teach our children not to speak to strangers, to look both ways before crossing the street, not to use drugs and other common sense practices. But we don’t teach them how to avoid being injured or killed by gun violence.
Homicide is the leading cause of death for African American males 15 to 24 years of age. Ninety percent of these young boys/men are killed with firearms. And gun violence is popping up all across the Twin Cities. Recently, a 14-year-old boy from Hastings Middle School who brought a .22 caliber loaded handgun to school; a 16-year-old Red Lake Senior High boy killed his family and proceeded to the high school to open fire and killed and injured 21 persons before turning the gun on himself. Two 17-year-old Somali boys shot three persons in a botched robbery. Minneapolis is not immune to this national epidemic of gun violence. Our youth are risking their lives, endangering others and facing years of incarceration, paralyzing injuries and violent death.