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Child Safety

Are Our Cities Safe… for Children?


Dedicated to the Memory of Lavontay White, 2 years old. – Deceased

I used to think of this Country as the safest country in the world. I still try to think of it that way, but for children in our inner-cities, I am not convinced. In Chicago, in the past few days, there have been several child fatalities caused by gun violence. The youngest child killed was 2 years old and his name was Lavontay White. The manner of his death is unacceptable to me… and should be to everyone in this Country. And, sadly, Lavontay’s death is only the tip of the iceberg!

If people are protesting, maybe they should take the time to protest the fact that children are being killed by gun violence in our inner-cities–whether it’s due to gang violence, or drugs and the crime drugs bring to communities, or cultural and economic disparities–it doesn’t matter, the result is still the same.

Children are dying, caught in the crossfire or intentionally killed. The lights of the most vulnerable among us– and the hope for this Country’s future– are being senselessly put out–and it’s wrong.

What if it were your child or grandchild? What if it were mine? It seems the severity of punishment for such crimes is not enough to deter the worst bad actors. So, what are the next steps our cities’ mayors, and child and human rights advocates, must take to cure this most sick of societal ills? Do they have a plan? Is preventing harmful gun violence to children a priority on anyone’s agenda? Do children need to be removed from the crime-ridden cities to safe spaces until gun-toting gangs are eliminated and drug dealing thugs can be incarcerated? Please, will you tell me?

Author: Marianne Halterman

Marianne is a member of the SafeKids Coalition of the Central Shenandoah Valley.

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