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Letter: Young need to put down guns; parents need to speak up

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To our young men: Put down your guns and pick up a trade to become the young man God created you to be.
Your family is really those who suffer the most – your parents and children left behind, weeping for a wrong decision that you made. Making bad decisions instead of the right decisions, causing your parent to be in debt. Allowing your parent to explain to the child who is left behind, asking “Where is my father, where is my mother?”
So hang the guns up and find a better way to handle that situation. You proclaim to be a man, so have a man-to-man conversation.
Pull up your pants, put on a tie and go to church or open your own business. Not all black men handle their business with guns. The ones who don’t teach the next one how to handle their business the right way.
I have lost a son, just like other mothers who have lost their sons by hands on a gun.
It’s time for a change, for all black men and women to fight for our kids.
Talk to them, even if they don’t want to hear it. I guarantee they will hear you when it’s all said and done. Yes, they hear you, mothers and fathers. Speak to them louder than you ever have before.
God has given us (parents) guardianship over our kids. So speak louder!
This is an eye-opener for me. The parents have a job, just as our children have a job as well. We need to keep it real. We need to talk with one another and save our children.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s about saving our kids, which are our future.
To the young men and women who have the mind to be out there in this cruel world: Lift up each other. Talk to one another. Help one another. Teach one another to love one another.
  
Betty Ann Stevens, mother of Tio Stevens

Lancaster