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Talking About Gun Violence in Our Neighborhood

Our community needs to talk about Gun Violence

This essay will set some people off, but I don’t care. My brother died of a hand gun incident in 1987 when he was 17 years old, and my family has not been the same ever since. So, I want to talk about it. This conversation is way over due. I have decided that I will speak out publically every new time an outrage like this happens.

The gun episode on the first day of school at Perry Hall High School was a shock to most of us. It was a traumatic event to those witnessing or injured as a result. And it is still reverberating through the community. I learned that there was a meeting at the school a few days later to for parents to ask questions. This is the responsible thing for the school to do. I learned about it after the fact. Now granted, I don’t have children attending this school, but I do live in this neighborhood, and I want to know what’s going on here in Perry hall.

This phase of the healing is about comforting the victims, parents and students close to this tragedy. I respect that and I can wait my turn. But I want to know what’s going on. I don’t want to simply be appeased.

When I went to school in the 1960’s and 1970’s no one brought guns to school. We need to understand what has changed and we need to talk about what we need to change about how we are responding.

It is time to start community conversations about how we as a community can deal with this situation. There will be those who will want to point out why this is proof that we should all carry guns. And there will be those who think we should confiscate all guns because they cause too much injury, death and havoc.

I am not advocating either position at this point. Even though my brother died in an act of violence I realize the need to keep a calm and patient voice. Truthfully I am afraid of people carrying guns on the street and I am equally afraid of a world in which the government has all the guns.

We need to find a better approach to this problem. Who has some new ideas?

We need to talk about solution and not make accusations based on polarized positions.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Other Tim September 09, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Definition is not meaningless when it is used to senstionalize an agenda. Yes, it is true that even one death is a shame. The real issue is not the guns. Guns are here to stay. There is no way all guns will be removed from society. The best answer as I see it is education. There are some people who think teaching kids gun safety is wrong. The media can do us a huge favor by having experts stress gun safety after each report they do on gun violence. Putting on a grim face and reporting that a "child" of 19 was killed in gang violence or during the commission of a crime does not help. Stop blaming the gun, and start stressing gun safety and respect for other peolpe's lives.
Steve September 09, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Those numbers were from the CDC not some "Liberal Media". Instead of playing Silly Buggers then why don't you talk about the larger number of 30,000 deaths by firearms PER YEAR in the US. ......and don't start with the "A hammer can kill you too." bullshit.
Mark Patro September 09, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Can I again point out the last two lines my original post? "We need to find a better approach to this problem. Who has some new ideas? We need to talk about solution and not make accusations based on polarized positions." We can fight about numbers all day but this is not talking about solutions.
JD1 September 10, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I think it's interesting that a kid even considers taking a gun to school and shooting other kids as a viable option for dealing with his problems. Whether bullying is the issue or not, how does the idea even get there? Maybe it's the media that can't get enough of it - there was a channel 13 van still on the parking lot last week reminding everyone of the incident. Maybe it's movies or violent books. Maybe it's hip hop culture. Seems to methathe causes are varied and have become part of our sick and valueless american culture. Morality is dead folks and probably for good. The best thing we can do is take care of our own and try to help them process the sick and empty promises being sold and sensationalized by our culture.
Mark Patro September 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM
to clarify Other Tim's comment, if I remember correctly, the police said "bullying" was not mentioned during the arrest. Then the Lawyer for the defense and the accused shooter said bullying is part of this story. How about we let a trial take place and stop speculating.
Mark Patro September 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM
"maybe its the media...maybe its hip hop culture" is more speculation. I could say, "maybe its an economic conspiracy that keeps us all working way too much to pay proper attention to our children," but then that too would be frivolous speculation. Let me guide the conversation back to solutions.
Evets September 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM
I know it is a long term solution, but how about if we work hard as parents to teach our children that violence is seldom the solution to a problem? When we read about instances of young people using violence to solve problems, this can serve as a catalyst for a discussion on alternatives to violence. Also, we need to make sure we set an example for our children, seeking non-violent and non-aggressive to solutions. I try to teach my children to be assertive, but not aggressive. We talk to our kids about sex and drugs and such. There should also be conversations about violence and guns. I won't blame the media,. but one must admit that violence is often portrayed as the way to deal with problems on TV and in movies.
Mark Patro September 11, 2012 at 09:08 AM
Long term solutions and cultural change is exactly what we need to be talking about.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 03:46 PM
"When I went to school in the 1960’s and 1970’s no one brought guns to school." That's just not true nationally. Many schools had shooting clubs and firearms were brought to schools. "There will be those who will want to point out why this is proof that we should all carry guns. " That is BS on its face. No one who supports the 2nd amendment will tell you EVERYONE should carry a firearm, that is just irresponsible and a huge stretch to assert. It is a strawman of huge proportions. "And there will be those who think we should confiscate all guns because they cause too much injury, death and havoc." Now that is a true statement as we have seen right on these pages. Thank God that will never happen in America. Punishment is the answer as no law can or will prevent the people set on doing such a thing. How many laws do we have about murder and what is the murder rate in Baltimore City or Chicago Illinois?
Joe September 11, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Doctors kill 98000 people a year from medical mistakes. Mothers kill their own children in filicide incidents hundreds of times a year. Mothers and Doctors are as dangerous to children as firearms are. Just the facts.
Mark Patro September 11, 2012 at 03:56 PM
You keep saying that I have said a law is the solution. No where in this article or out of my mouth have I said that. Making a law is something we have already tried and apparently that did not work as you point out. I am also not promoting gun control, although others here just might do that. When I said no one brought guns to school I was no talking about gun clubs. I saying no one brought guns to school for vigilante reasons. And now I realize that is an absolute statement. Do I have to add no one brought guns to school on a vigilante basis for the purpose of shooting someone once a week like we seem to be hearing about now? My point has been made today. This is a growing problem and we need to talk about how to solve it.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 03:58 PM
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl02.xls Murder victim by age 2010: under 1: 186 1-4 313 5-8 85 9-12 43 13-16 363 17-19 1231 Of 12996 murder victims in 2010, mothers and fathers killed their own children 242 times.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 03:59 PM
It matters a lot. The older "children" are killed by firearms are involved in gangs and drugs etc, those under 12 are not generally.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 04:04 PM
You are flat out lying again and making up your own statistics. Here is th eFBI Uniform Crime stats. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls 2010 murders in America were 12996. Firearms were responsible for 8775 and has been dropping since 2006 as firearm ownership has increased to record levels. You can't lie Steve to p[rove an invalid point.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 04:14 PM
I never claimed you said a law will fix this issue, not once. I did say no law would fix it but never said you made that claim.
Mark Patro September 11, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I read that into the last sentence in the above post. Possibly I read it too quickly. I am not here to argue about the second amendment. As I have stated 3 time now I am looking to start a conversation about possible solutions.
Acts Like Summer September 11, 2012 at 04:26 PM
This is the first sensible comment. I'm 25 with no children but I still was affected by the shooting because who wants to know this can happen in their community. I agree that the important thing to focus on is non-violent conflict resolution. I think a lot of children do not know how to handle anger and conflict in a healthy manner because they have so few positive role models. So many adults set really bad examples. I think that all adults in a community need to set better examples. And YES, keep up the discussion without getting into the gun politics right now.
Acts Like Summer September 11, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I don't really what your point is. Bullying is a serious issue but not all victims of bullies resort to violence. Likewise not all individuals who resort to violence are victims of bullying.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Parenting and personal responsibility are the keys along with training in their safe use if you have firearms in the home. Training as young as 6 years old is not too young. Take them target shooting often. Get them involved in shooting sports. Remove the curiosity form the firearms and these cases will diminish over time. Nothing more dangerous than a curious child who has been told the household firearms are taboo.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Steve's answer to his proven lies? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8E_zMLCRNg
Jeanne September 11, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Mark I am so sorry about your brother. The shooter at Perry Hall High School has very serious issues, mostly coming from his home. He might have been bullied at home and some in school but he was not bullied that morning. I heard about the meeting on the news and was able to make it in time and several people had some good questions & thoughts. Another meeting is suposed to happen when they have more answers but Mr Roberts said feel free to e-mail or call me if you have concerns before the next meeting (e-mail is best way, go to school web site) Maybe the library can set something up for the community or the Perry Hall Association. I agree that people need to look for warning signs of people having issues and I hope people will be more aware and willing to go to someone about their concerns.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 05:03 PM
If you have firearms in your home with children it is your responsibility to make sure your children are not curious about them. Tell a child not to touch something and they will touch it. Tell them not to go into that closet and they will go into that closet. Early firearm training works to remove the taboo feeling. Millions of children grow up ever year with firearms in the home and nothing bad happens. If you use forearms as a family for recreation the chances one will be used in a crime such as this is minimized.
Mark Patro September 11, 2012 at 05:05 PM
what is "Mr Roberts" full name and how is he affiliated to the school?
Mark Patro September 11, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Joe, thank you for your suggestion. It is all well and good. But, first of all there will be no guns in my home. Your suggestion is not something new. The agenda here is to reduce or eliminate gun violence in our community. The child who brought the gun to Perry Hall High School does not appear to be one of the curious kids you are talking about. And, second of all teaching your kid how to use a gun may work for you or some others here, but it will not work for all of us. It does not work for me. I do not believe we need to live in a constant state of alert to be on defense 24/7. You and I obviously view the potential of our world in different ways.
Jeanne September 11, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Mr Roberts is the principal, I am not sure of his first name because I always call him Mr Roberts. Sorry I am not a lot of help.
Joe September 11, 2012 at 05:25 PM
It will not work for you Mark since you will not have firearms in the home. So training is a moot point. Millions of children a year are trained with the Eddie Eagle Program form the "NRA and it is highly successful. Who lives in "a constant state of alert to be on defense 24/7"? No one I know lives that way. Again, NOTHING will prevent another Perry Hall incident, nothing at all. It has been happening for decades and will continue to happen. Until punishment is swift and harsh that is. Prevention is not possible, punishment is.
Laura D. Vendetti September 11, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Dont twist my words. Do you have real input or criticism? Focus
Mark Patro September 11, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Ask the parents who had children in Perry Hall High School on that date what state of alert they were in?
Laura D. Vendetti September 11, 2012 at 06:23 PM
These children that do school shootings are very angry and feel powerless. They are looking for revenge and power (lacking in their lives). Anger is often modeled in their homes. When they fight back, their word means nothing, maybe because they are displaying the same anger their parents just did. I am speaking of extreme anger and bullying both inside and outside the home. We need to identify the causes before finding the solutions!
Mark Patro February 22, 2013 at 08:07 PM
this will help Move Maryland in the right direction: https://www.change.org/petitions/support-solutions-to-gun-violence-that-work#

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