Columbus Anti-Violence Advocates Want Action After Six Teens Shot

Six teens were shot in Columbus during the weekend. The shootings have caused some anti-violence advocates to call for change.(Photo: flickr: Null Value)
Six teens were shot in Columbus during the weekend. The shootings have caused some anti-violence advocates to call for change.(Photo: flickr: Null Value)

Columbus anti-violence advocates are pushing for community involvement with local youth after six teenagers were shot during the weekend.

“I think it’s going to need to be more than just a political solution, but a community and a family solution,” Oakley Full Gospel Baptist Church’s senior pastor Jonathan McReynolds said after six teens were shot in three separate incidents around Columbus late Saturday night and into the early morning hours of Sunday.

“With the recent incidents over the weekend with the young people, I believe it displays that we need to start intervening with our children at a very young age.

“I think we as families have to make a change because each one of these young people, they have mothers, fathers, uncles, grandparents. I think it’s time that we as families step up and take ownership in our communities and try to make a change,” McReynolds said.

Columbus attorney Byron Potts, who has held several gun control forums, said gun violence is no longer acted out just by adults.

“People that are committing these violent offenses are getting younger.”

As it gets warmer, violence ticks up, and Potts plans to propose ideas to city leaders he hopes will help curb it, including a gun buyback program.

“Just trying to minimize or eliminate some of these guns,” Potts said. “There’s no panacea, but if we get one of these guns off the street, it might save one person’s life.”

Potts also suggests the city hire teens to help clean up their neighborhoods.

“I believe it starts with just basic stuff. If you start cleaning up and taking care of your community, you won’t let all this stuff go around,” he said. “You won’t be a part of that. You will feel a part of the community, you won’t feel alienated.”

All six of the teens involved in the weekend shooing were taken to area hospitals, but WOSU has been unable to confirm their conditions. So far, Columbus Police have made no arrests.

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