PUBLISHED ON PAGE A4 OF THE DELAWARE STATE NEWS OF 8/17/21
Letter to the Editor – How to Reduce Gun Violence- 7/13/21
The gun violence on our streets is nearly out of control. We learned long ago that mass incarceration is not the solution, and recently enacted gun laws have minimal effect, but the solution is as easy as 1,2,3.
1. We need more uniformed, restrained, well paid and well-trained police officers on the streets, engaged in community policing and being highly visible.
2. We must better educate the public to look for warning signs in friends and families of mental health problems, and we must provide much, much better treatment for those problems, and train more qualified doctors and counselors. Eliminate the stigma of MH problems: “You go to a doctor when your arm is broken; you should see a doctor when your brain is broken. Feeling depressed or left out to the point of considering acting out in a violent way? See a MH doctor!” Depression, anger issues, and all the other MH ailments can be treated, but only if those who are ill seek help.
3. Provide more summer and after school programs and activities. Perhaps set up competitions in chess, creative crafts, and similar activities, with reasonable cash prizes.
The primary purpose of government is to protect its people, and what we are doing is not working.
I see that since I first sent the substance of this piece to my extensive list of police chiefs, several large cities have urged and/or implemented critical parts. Are such solutions costly? Sure they are, but they are far less costly than the harm, medical costs, and the incalculable damage to individuals, families, and communities which will continue if we do not implement them!
Ken Abraham, former prosecutor and founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302-423-4067
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