Can We Talk People Out of Shooting?

The Cincinnati Police Department has circulated a call from CeaseFire Cincinnati to gather in Avondale today. The gathering at 4:30 p.m. at Reading Road and Prospect Street is a response to the shooting Friday of a 16-year-old boy.

Participants will march and hold a vigil against shootings, part of a community campaign to make gun violence “unacceptable.” The announcement points out that the shooting was a very public event, occurring in the Avondale Towne Center parking lot.

“A witness said that eight young people, ages 15 to 18 … were in a group and that one of the individuals shot him,” the CeaseFire Cincinnati statement says. “The Avondale Towne Center … is in the heart of Avondale — surrounded by churches, homes and apartments, stores, and restaurants. At 8 p.m. on a Friday, many people frequent the area.”

The aim of the group is to use community pressure to end the climate that has made such shootings commonplace in Cincinnati.

“Visible and vocal responses are critical because they are an opportunity for residents, clergy, public officials and other community members to come together and to speak with one with one voice against shootings and killings,” the statement says.

Without denying the good intentions of such an effort, does it have any practical benefit? One could argue that any program that gets people in a neighborhood talking to one another has value. But do people who shoot other people listen to arguments against it? Is this an exercise in mutual reinforcement for those who already alarmed by the shootings, or can it actually reduce the number of shootings?

— Gregory Flannery

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7 Comments on “Can We Talk People Out of Shooting?”

  1. Natasha Says:

    I wish I had the answers, I don’t.

    US citizens no longer have legitimate need for guns. Whatever the reason our country’s fathers wrote in “the right to bear arms” is no longer relevant in this day and age.

    Anyone can go to a gun & knife show and purchase any kind of gun they want. Uzi’s? Yep. No waiting period. No nothing. Cash on the barrel and you are armed.

    We need to examine the low violent crime rates in other countries where gun ownership is not the norm. What are they doing right and we are doing wrong?

    The latest rash of vigilante killings are just as disturbing. Are we going to revert to a Wild West mentality? Are we chosing to go backward and not forward?

    The gatherings and the talks cannot hurt. We have to start somewhere.

  2. ToeJamFootball Says:

    I’m no gun nut but what about Canada? Nearly every citizen there has a gun or two? They aren’t killing each other left and right. Why is that?

  3. Natasha Says:

    TJF, I’m not sure that it’s a true statement that nearly every Canadian citizen owns a gun. I will do some research and find out, though. Maybe they are all like Ted Nugent and hunt for wild game and sport.

    My father and all his predecessors hunted for food. I can reluctantly justify sport (skeet) shooting and/or hunting for food. But pistols? Assault rifles? There is no legitimate use for these items whatsoever in today’s society.

    Clermont county recently passed a law that allows for people to obtain a permit to carry concealed weapons. Why? What possible need is there for this? Self protection is a lame excuse. If someone were to walk up and shoot me, I would figure it’s my time to go. I don’t believe in vigilante justice. And I refuse to live in fear.

    I don’t know why Americans are set on killing themselves and each other. None of this makes sense to me. It’s time for radical change.

  4. gerard Says:

    “Without denying the good intentions of such an effort, does it have any practical benefit?”

    In my opinion, not a chance.

    How many vigils and marches and sermons and speeches and hallelujah’s have there been since 2001? And the bodies just keep on coming.

    Crime is a direct result of economic and educational injustices, and also bad family planning. Why don’t they march for these things.

  5. Kathy Says:

    Every time I see one of those marches, I ask the same question Mt.
    Flannery does. It may be a cathartic boost for the participants, but I doubt
    that the shooters give a damn about what anyone outside their
    age/gender/race grouping thinks about their activities.

    County Coroner O’Dell Owens has been quoted as saying that the vast
    majority of homocide victims he sees test positive for drugs. Even if we
    agree that most seemingly random shootings of young black males are
    drug related, that does not solve the problem of innocent bystanders:
    the man shot in his living room in Avondale, the little girl going to the store
    for her mother. This is the true tragedy, and I have no idea how to stop it.

  6. David Gallaher Says:

    “most seemingly random shootings of young black males are
    drug related”
    It’s a pet peeve of mine, the usage of “drug related,” when what is meant is “drug war related.”
    For those of you above who have no idea how to end the violence, what say we end the war on drugs, so we can concentrate on the next step to take?

  7. Westside John Says:

    If you were to take a list of the last 100 shootings in Cincinnati I would wager a years salery that not 5% of the shooters obtained their weapon legally. One estamate says there are over 250 million guns in the US that are not registered, that is to say accounted for. These guns find their way onto the black market and are bought cheaply, given as gifts for services rendered or stolen. Legal gun ownership is not the question we should be asking. the questions should be….Where is your son/daughter at 2AM, Did you make sure he/she went to school, did you help with their homework? Did YOU provide the positive role model that your son or daughter needed. I work 60 to 70 hours a week but still find the time to interact with my children and make sure that most of their homework is done and that they go to school. We produce the children that are causing the problem. They came from somewhere!! Oh and the “economical and educational injustices” are a bunch of Bull! I know plenty of CPS grads that are productive smart sucessful people.

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