Teens and gun violence; a community desperate for a solution

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – 26 murders in 2016, that includes both city and unincorporated parts of the Lafayette Parish, most of them were committed with guns. And if it seems like the victims and suspects are getting younger, they are, the number of teenagers in the past two months being shot, doing the shooting or both, is alarming.””

On April 30th, a 17-year-old allegedly shot and killed a man on Jefferson Street.

On June 21st, an 18-year-old was shot and killed on Magnolia Street.

June 24th, an 18-year-old was shot on Moss Street.

June 29th a 17 and 18-year-old were shot on Sternberg Drive.

And most recently, an 18-year-old was arrested for the shooting of a 16-year-old on July 5th.

 

Which begs the question, where are these teenagers getting the weapons?

“I don’t know…I’m not even quite sure how to properly purchase a gun legally, much less illegally,” said Blaine Peltier, the owner of Meche’s Donut King on Willow Street.

He took notice of the violence in the city and decided to spark some dialogue with the use of their marquee.

The reviews have been mixed but Peltier believes it’s a conversation that needs to be had.

Peltier added:  “If somebody dies especially in this area there’s a good chance we’ve seen them, there’s a good chance they’ve patronized us. These people are shooting at my customers and it’s sickening.””

Hundreds of weapons are stolen from cars each year, and some aren’t recovered until they’re used in a crime. “Unlocked cars, access to their parent’s weapons in their homes, and street sales.”” District 4 Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux has conducted a ‘Gun Buy Back’ program in the past and got more than two dozen guns off the streets.

But Boudreaux believes curbing gun violence has been one of his most difficult tasks.

“It seems like we cannot have the conversation, the appropriate conversation. We haven’t been able to make any progress in limiting those deaths on the streets,” Boudreaux explained.

Councilman Boudreaux said new gun laws need to be put in place, not laws that take away Second Amendment rights, but laws that will make gun owners more responsible.

“When I talk about guns, I don’t want people to say I’m anti-gun. No, I’m not! I got a lot of guns. But, I have them under lock and key, I have them in cases I have them in vaults,” said Boudreaux

Gun owners who have teenagers or anyone in the home, for that matter, who you don’t want to freely access your firearms, there are local programs in place like Project Homesafe;
which provides these gun locks, an inexpensive and effective approach to firearm safety.

If you’re interested in the Project Homesafe Program, call 291-8804.

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