Saturday, March 13, 2010

Frances Davis, Mother Of 3 Boys Killed By Guns, Speaks Out

When I speak at various locations, one of the main questions I am asked is ‘where do we start in changing the attitudes of violence in our communities’? My answer is the mothers—the nurtures of human life. They must learn to love an respect themselves and their bodies.Then we must un-desensitize ourselves to the blatant violence and sex that our children are watching. We also must rekindle in all adults a sense of moral outrage in the programming of the cesspool of immorality that is coming from the media today.

I know about gun violence all too well. I lost my three boys to gunfire in Brooklyn on three separate occasions. I went to three morgues, three funerals and three burials. My sons became victims of the violent, unforgiving streets where you are labeled soft and weak if you back down or walk away from a fight. Violence has seeped into every aspect of our society; from movies to television to music, to video games. Some of the recent video games that have come out do not even try to hide the fact that they are about guns, violence and death. Parents must do everything they can to protect their children, because an entire generation is being wiped out—especially young Black and Latino males.

Unfortunately, not enough is being done to combat this epidemic. Far too many people are ignoring the problem and burying their heads in the sand. We all must stand up together and declare war on this lethal enemy. We must teach our young that it is okay to walk away from a confrontation—you do not always have to win. Our children must learn that an act of violence is the wrong way to handle an argument or disagreement. Education starts in the home. But it should not only be limited to the home. This epidemic should be treated as such—schools, churches, organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls clubs, Big Brothers-Big Sisters Of America—should all make a concerted effort to work together and attack this viral outbreak as though it were any other plague. We also must realize that a large number of our children are afraid. They feel unprotected. We must re-instill in our young a sense of security and well being.

As I move through our communities, I notice so much pain in the faces of our youth. They seem so shell-shocked by the constant fear that they live with in their day to day lives. Who could really blame them; every day in the newspapers, I read about another child, shot, stabbed, or jumped and beaten. Our kids know very clearly that a bump, a look, or a flippant word could cause them to lose their life. Every time they leave their homes they have to walk through a minefield of guns, drugs and worst of all, apathy and indifference. It’s as though we adults have accepted this as our normal way of life.

We must get back to the ‘it takes a village’ mentality and protect our children; make them feel safe. When a child is shot, we must all take it personal—because your child could be next. ^

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