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The Voice of the Black Community


Gun violence keeps US in bad place
Issue festers while nothing changes
Published Friday, July 6, 2018 11:05 am
by James Ewers

Like an abrasion, gun violence in the United States of America continues to fester and to get worse.

Our nation is known for great things. Our country is revered  for its beautiful terrain, its cities both large and small and its major attractions. Our arts, our food and our quality of life make our country the perfect location to live, to work and to raise a family. We honor and value our diverse cultures and our system of education.

America is seen as a world leader. Other countries look to us for ideas, innovations and leadership. We have held this position for many decades and while challenged on many fronts, we still hold it today. However, some would argue that our status in the world is slipping. Recent and pending legislation on tariffs and immigration are viewed as detrimental to our position.

The battle going on with immigration in this country is getting worse by the day. Lawmakers are at a crossroads when it comes to charting a course which will be humane and long lasting. The world is waiting to see what we will do.

Another problem that America is facing is what to do about gun violence. It is literally ripping our country apart. Gun proponents don’t see anything wrong with the current gun statutes. However, those on the other side say that it is much too easy to get a gun in this country.

Last week, gun violence erupted at the Capital Gazette Newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland. Jarrod W. Ramos killed five people and injured two in a shooting spree. Multiple questions in my opinion come up about Ramos. First and foremost is how did he get a gun into the building? It could have been that the building didn’t have security or metal devices which could detect a weapon.

Second, how did Ramos get his hands on this gun? Early reports said that he already had three peace orders against him. That should have raised a red flag suggesting that something was wrong. He had also been on Twitter making vile and threatening comments about the newspaper and one of its employees, Rob Hiaasen. He said that he would like to see Hiaasen “cease breathing.” Rob Hiaasen was one of the victims killed by Jarrod Ramos.

On June 29, the opinion page for the Capital Gazette newspaper was without opinions. It simply said, “We Are Speechless.” Tom Marquardt, a retired publisher and editor for the Gazette, said Ramos was simply a troublemaker for the newspaper. “I was seriously concerned he would threaten us with physical violence,” Marquardt said.

Ramos is now in custody and will spend the rest of his life in prison. We are sitting on a ticking time bomb called gun violence in this country. Right now, there is no end in sight. I believe that reasonable lawmakers must lead the effort towards reasonable solutions.

Those legislators and lobbyists who have hard line positions regarding this issue are in my opinion part of the problem. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, someone in our community is planning the next shooting. That is a sad but true reality.

Gun violence has become a part of America’s dark side.

Jim Ewers is a Winston-Salem native and Johnson C. Smith University graduate.


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