Under The Hat: Takes a Village June 17, 2011 - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under The Hat: Takes a Village June 17, 2011

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We were talking the other day about Erie's emerging reputation as a new Wild West, given the reports of gunshots we repeatedly hear night after night.

My colleague Paul Wagner noted that the media is playing a role in that; stories of "shots fired" wouldn't even register in many larger cities.

In major cities even some domestic homicides aren't reported; they've become just too routine.

Since when is murder routine?

Paul may have a point, but I'm glad we live in a town small enough that someone firing a weapon in a neighborhood still matters.

And we learned all too well this week of the price that gunfire can bring.

As far as we can tell, eighteen year old Natashia Beason was doing little more than riding her bike down East 8th Street when a bullet went into the back of her neck and went up into her jaw.

 Apparently her crime was to ride down that street at the same time when a nearby argument was escalating into gunfire.

At this time Natashia lies in a hospital bed following surgery, badly wounded.

Police continue to talk to witnesses but so far no arrests have been made.

We hear so often about shots being fired in the city anymore that it is becoming routine; background noise; little bits of stories used to fill news time.

Perhaps we should be paying more attention into why more and more young people feel the need to arm themselves to solve disputes.

More importantly, where is the disconnect, how do people so young with so much in front of them become so hopeless, so cavalier about throwing away their lives or the lives of those just passing by?

The Mayor is promising to crack down on street violence and that needs to happen. Perhaps we need to take a harder look at those who steal guns from homes or bring them into town by the trunk load.

But clearly we need to inject hope into our youth as well, to show them that there is another way out.

Hillary Clinton once wrote famously that it takes a village to raise a child.

We can debate the merits of that another day.

But one thing is certain.

It will clearly take our entire village, to keep a gun out of that child's hands.

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