How to End Violence? Get Guns Off the Street

Elected officials and leaders must hold gun buy-back programs, among other things, to help rid the streets of dangerous weapons, the Rev. Al Sharpton writes in a blog entry at the Huffington Post.

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End violence by getting guns off the street. (Getty Images)

The slaying of Zurana Horton, the pregnant mother of 13 children who was slain in Brooklyn, N.Y., by a rooftop gunman during a gang war, is emblematic of why leaders and elected officials need to work to rid the streets of guns, the Rev. Al Sharpton blogs at Huffington Post Black Voices.

Whenever we hear of horrific tragedies like the slaying of Zurana Horton, a 34-year-old mother of 13 who was killed by a stray bullet last Friday while shielding children outside of an elementary school in Brooklyn, we often ask ourselves how such a travesty could happen. We watch as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children and all those left behind mourn the loss of their loved ones and grapple with how to push forward with their head held high. But what we do not focus on enough is how guns have gotten into the hands of the wrong people in the first place, and why they are so readily accessible to them. This week in NY, eight NYPD officers were charged with helping to run a gun-smuggling ring in a city already grappling with unresolved shootings. Whether it's illegal trafficking on the streets or organized illegal trafficking with the assistance of authority, bottom line is, we must stop guns from coming into our community -- period.

I can't begin to tell you how many funerals I've attended or how many family members I've tried to comfort after they traumatically lost someone near and dear to them to a senseless act of violence. Often times caught in a crossfire of bullets, these innocent victims have ranged in age from infants to grandmothers, and have been killed while completing everyday tasks like picking up children from school or running an errand, or simply sitting in their home. But what is strikingly clear is that a vast majority of these shooting victims have been Black and Latino, and we simply cannot remain silent about saving our families and protecting our streets.

Read the Rev. Al Sharpton's entire blog post at the Huffington Post Black Voices.

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