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Even the poor deserve the right to live in safety

admin | 3/8/2012, 4 a.m.

Turf wars between rival gangs have been cited as the main reason for the unprecedented rise in violence in Liberty Square. But factor in senseless Black-on-Black crime, drive-by shootings and the ease with which young adults can purchase guns and our community is facing what could be called a perfect storm. Police, residents and community activists alike, all point to the need for collaborative efforts to stem this violent tide. Now its time to put words into action. Far too many innocent, law-abiding Liberty Square residents say they feel like like prisoners trapped in their own homes. But this situation will not go away by itself. It will take serious thought, creative solutions and committed adults working in concert. Still, if we are serious about seeing a real change for the beleaguered housing project and its tenants, theres one piece of the solution puzzle that must be included those young people who feel compelled to commit violent acts. Living in such a crowded area where so many people struggle each day just to provide for the basic necessities of life one might be able to understand why young folks are shooting and killing with such reckless abandon. Some also are tempted by the bling-bling that has become the symbolic of Miamis beautiful people, and are willing to do whatever it takes to acquire such luxury items. But when and if gang members and others lay down their weapons and give the playgrounds and corners back to our children, where will they go and what will they do? There are no jobs for them, especially ex-offenders or those without education. There are few viable sports or social programs where they can unwind and have fun. And for the record, locking them all up or hoping they disappear havent worked at least not yet.