Teen Violence Spurs Calls For Gun Control

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A rash of teen versus teen shootings in Columbus this year raises concern among some city leaders about how to stop the violence.

Two teenagers hid inside of a church on the city’s southeast side after a shooting involving another teenager. 16 year old Darrick Dawson and 17 year old Jayme Eugene-Jamar Prince are charged with the murder of 16 year old Katrel Parker. In another incident, 16 year old Malcolm Brown faces charges for allegedly shooting and killing a man on the North side earlier this month. Teen violence appears to be spreading through Columbus streets. Mayor Michael Coleman is frustrated that young people are in the crossfire.

“You don’t need an AK 47 to shoot deer and the corner of Broad and High in Columbus,” stressed Coleman.

Coleman says that attempts made to curb the number of guns on city streets get shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court and by some Ohio lawmakers.

“Far too many guns are being made available. We’re a gun state. We allow concealed weapons by law. We allow the proliferation of guns in all of our communities,” explained Coleman.

City Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson says city leaders are fighting back as much as they can.

“Young people have access to weapons and they’re using those weapons and unfortunately we’ve tried a lot through the city. The mayor in the past, we’ve brought weapons in, we’ve had strike patrols, we’ve done many many things to try to remove them. But, as we’re constantly trying to do our work, there’s another element out there that is also doing their work and putting those guns on the street,” Tyson said.

Mayor Coleman says recent undercover police operations have been helpful in getting many weapons off the streets, but the battle continues. He also is working to encourage other Ohio mayors to join the Mayors Against guns effort to push for what Coleman says are common sense gun laws.