NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 3, 2013) A child barely 1 years old is fatally shot in her nanny’s arms. A young girl playing in her home is slain by gunfire shot into her home. The rash of children’s deaths alone in New Orleans, not to mention the bloodshed of adults day after day, leaves us shocked and a tad frightened.
In recent weeks, at least two innocent young children have been killed by gun violence. The deaths of 1-year-old Londyn Samuels and 11-year-old Arabian Gayles have left New Orleans and surrounding communities frightened for the future of this violent city.
Samuels was struck by a bullet fired into her nanny’s back as she was carried home from the park. An arrest has been made on the killing of baby Londyn. Gayles was shot and killed on Labor Day as she played video games inside her West Carrollton home when a gunman opened fire into the home.
New Orleans has had the unfortunate distinction as the “Murder Capital” for the past two decades and now sits as No. 3 on the list, falling behind Detroit and Flint, Mich. New Orleans is among 15 cities with more than 100 murders a year, reporting 193 murders in 2012. According to The Advocate, the city recorded 76 murders in the first half of 2013.
Other than saying, “Stay safe,” we must find a better solution for this nightmare in which residents of New Orleans now live. We pass by many houses here with placards with the biblical commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” but what else can be done to reach and/or stop those who apparently commit these heinous acts without any apparent concern about ethics and morality?
Mayor Mitch Landrieu has said enough is enough. He believes the violence won’t stop unless everyone gets involved.
Along with Landrieu’s concerns, are the concerns of film director Spike Lee. In 2012, Lee announced a new initiative, “Flip the Script,” to combat the epidemic levels of violence in the city. Both Landrieu and Lee have united to slash New Orleans’ high murder rates by challenging young black men of New Orleans to put an end to gun violence through a multimedia public awareness campaign.
Though the murder rate decreased since last year, we’re still faced this year with mourning situations like the deaths of Londyn and Arabian. New Orleans residents cannot give up on finding a solution to the horrid nightmare their families and others like them live daily. Let’s start with each one proclaiming, STOP THE VIOLENCE!!
(Editor-in-Chief Delesia Daniels wrote this editorial on behalf of the Courtbouillon staff.)