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Violence in America: What Can I Do?   – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Bonnie Boswell (photo courtesy)

“America suffers from four poisons: violence, racism, sexism and plantation capitalism,” said Martin Luther King. Jr. called him “the world’s leading theorist of nonviolence.”

The man is Pastor James Lawson Jr. He made the statement during a conversation with civil rights lawyer Brian Stevenson about the upcoming special edition of Bonnie Boswell Presents.

As I pondered the Buffalo, New York, and Uwalde, Texas shooting incidents, Pastor Lawson’s words echoed in my mind. The common denominator between the four poisons, Lawson said, is the devaluation of human life – identifying some people as less valuable than others.

As we struggle to wrap our heads around the deaths of more young children, we ask ourselves, “Who are we?” The facts are clear. There are 331 million people and 400 million weapons in America (Small Arms Survey).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that COVID killed 186 children and teens in 2020, but guns killed 4,357. Firearms suicide accounted for 58 percent of intentional deaths in the United States, compared with 38 percent of deaths. from murders. Here, women are 28 times more likely to be killed by gun than in other rich countries.

We are tired of breaking our hands. But the antidote to frustration and rage must certainly be constructive action. Yes, you and I can take some action to protect others – women, children, people marginalized from poverty, and older white men, who make up 75% of firearms suicides. But what to do?

I asked Brian Malti, CEO of Hope and Healing, a non-profit foundation focused on preventing violence from a public health perspective. Brian noted that there are many organizations that are already working to reduce firearms mortality through prevention, intervention and follow-up, but they still need support.

One he cites is the Institute for Urban Peace. I covered this group in Bonnie Boswell Reports in 2018, interviewing former members of the gang who helped prevent more than 180 shootings over a two-year period. Lives saved, as well as millions of dollars of taxpayers who were not spent on imprisonment. https://www.urbanpeaceinstitute.org/

Brian also mentioned the Los Angeles County Prevention Service, which was established in 2019 with the recognition that violence is a public health problem. The more we understand about the impact of childhood trauma, for example, the more we can help children reduce the chance of hurting themselves and others. http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ovp/ovp_countywide.htm.

The bottom line is that if we do something – we support great organizations, we support legislation that rejects violent decisions, we engage our neighbors and family, and we expand the circle of care – we will absolutely make a difference.

Learn more ideas for tackling the “four poisons” in “Bonnie Boswell Presents: A Conversation with Pastor Lawson and Attorney Brian Stevenson,” airing June 15 at 6:30 p.m. on KCET.

Violence in America: What Can I Do?   – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Violence in America: What Can I Do?   – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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