‘Root’ of all evil

Published 9:05 am Thursday, May 27, 2010

What is at the root of so much violence among young people, especially young men…not only the ones here in our four-county area, but throughout the nation?

Similar to a root’s structure, once violence becomes entrenched, it becomes harder and harder to unearth.

Nearly each and every day in this newspaper office, the police scanner reveals one or more calls for law enforcement officers to respond to a “10-40 in progress.” A “10-40” is police code for a fight.

The majority of those reported fights involve multiple participants. Some of those fights involve weapons.

Fist-a-cuffs, which have been around for centuries, were once an acceptable way for two individuals to settle their differences. They have now evolved into all-out wars between rival groups or gangs.

If these fights are gang-related, then we have a serious problem on our hands. That “root” will be tough to dig out and destroy.

On the other hand, if these are gang wanna-be’s, then there is hope to end the violence before it claims another young life.

We need to address the root of these senseless acts of violence. Do these hostile acts trace their roots to a dysfunctional home life or are they rooted within the brutality and carnage that movie/TV producers as well as video game manufacturers seem to favor. Or is there another source?

Whatever the case, we need to address these issues now. We would encourage the citizens of the Roanoke-Chowan area to contact their county commissioners, educational leaders, business owners and local clergy in an effort for those groups to unite in an effort to curb violence.

We also recommend that if those aforementioned groups do come together to confer on this issue, they need to include young people in that discussion.

Don’t wait another day. Don’t wait for another young person to die or be seriously injured.