You’ve probably seen this little story before.
This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
And so it seems to be going with the gang violence that is hitting the lower mainland right now. We are all pointing fingers and really, at the end of the day, somebody’s fingers are going to be pointed back at us. Not enough police. Police not doing enough. Prosecutors not coming down hard enough in sentencing. Laws not harsh enough. Parents not fit enough. Cultures not welcomed enough. Families too poor. Neighborhoods disconnected. Streets too rough. Drugs too available. Video games too violent. Kids not being supported… It goes on and on. You can point your finger at one or at all. But perhaps it is time to switch from blame to change. By all of us.
It is time to stop the naivety or just plain ignorance. “That kind of thing never happens here in my town/block/neighborhood/house/family.” is an illusion. It does happen to us all everywhere. These are ‘our’ kids being shot. These are ‘our’ kids pulling the trigger.
Longer sentences and an increased police force are not going to solve gang violence. Are these things wanted and necessary? Sure. But they are bandaid solutions to a long term problem. We as an all encompassing society still have to step in. If gang members know who to target in their recruitments, we as parents, teachers, leaders, and community members do as well. We need only pursue them as diliginetely as the gangs do. Give them choice, education, love, support and options. Give them a chance.