Op-Ed

Moms can get to the heart of the violence

TNS

Another senseless murder recently brought devastation to the heart of a single mom. Her son’s argument in the parking lot of his home escalated when another black man fatally shot him in his heart.

Her son’s 5-year-old daughter is yet another child left without a father, and another family mourns from this violent epidemic that plagues our community.

My question is: When will enough be enough? Guns are in the hands of killers who are sending the grim reaper into family living rooms across our community. In this case, witnesses came forward immediately so the shooter was apprehended. It’s an example of what can happen when those who see something say something to get killers off our street.

According to CBS News, Florida has the highest rate of firearm deaths in the country. In Miami-Dade County alone, in what I call the civil war in the black community, gun violence has crippled families in unfathomable numbers. This is not police killing our black sons, this is blacks killing other blacks, almost like Cain and Abel.

While work needs to be done on the problem of police executions, we cannot turn a blind eye to our community’s internal gun violence. I believe we need a Mother’s Movement, which, like the civil-rights movement, must strategically launch an attack on that which violates the rights of our sons and daughters to live in safety.

Senseless violence of this epidemic proportion poses a health hazard to all of us. Our elected officials must know that we are in a state of emergency. Just as cigarette companies have been held accountable for peddling death by tobacco, so must gun manufacturers and dealers be held accountable. We need laws to prevent such flagrant access to guns.

This incident struck close to home as I know the mother who lost her son. As a single mom with one son, I shuddered, my heart broken. She answered the phone when I called with words of comfort, and I admired her composure, hearing her brokenness in this harsh reality. Even when it is someone unknown to us, it must strike a chord and generate a call to action. Mothers, we must rise up together and seek protection for our sons and daughters.

So my call to action began down on my knees in prayer for her and her family, for our sons and daughters, for our community. I called on other mothers in our community, one a retired congresswoman, my mother, others active in their various churches — all prayer warriors. We wept, we mourned and continued with prayer, crying out to God for help to stop the killing. This will continue as we face a spiritual as well as physical assault.

I will stand with other mothers and continue to call for a Mothers Movement. I call on our communities to come together and work against this epidemic. The thing with diseases is that they spread, and we must inoculate our communities against this scourge.

Remedies will come when we work together, connecting the dots and developing cures. There are organizations doing what they can to curtail these killings, but we must also get help from the federal government. Methods for stemming this tide of violence must include prevention as well as ardent courses of action to address the immediate problem.

I pray my friend’s son will rest in peace. We need a Mothers Movement not that different from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. To join, email camorris58@yahoo.com.

We need to take a stand and charge those around us with helping to stop this murderous madness, this epidemic of senseless killings, this civil war.

Carmen Morris is the owner of a Miami public relations/marketing firm and the founder of Sanctuary of Moses, a nonprofit organization fighting child trafficking and slavery in Benin, West Africa.

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