NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - A community activist coping with the murder of his grandson is taking his fight against crime to the next level.
Elder James Johnson believes there's a way to prevent violent crimes.
Johnson says it will take the entire community.
"I'm not going to let my grandson's death stop me from what I was doing for the last 30 years and I'm not going to go under a rock and hide. We got many lives to save," said Johnson.
Johnson isn't slowing down, even after losing his grandson, 19-year-old Terrence McNeil, to a deadly shooting on July 4.
"My family is not immune from crime. We are at a very critical stage in this city, in this county," said Johnson.
The grandfather says the change must start early.
"If we don't do something, the generation after this generation is only going to get worse," said Johnson.
Johnson's goal is to sit down with community leaders in the tri-county area, like mayors and police chiefs over the next few days.
"I don't want Mayor Riley to wait until it comes down there in the historical district," said Johnson, "So if he's going to wait until that crime come there and it's going to come, so what we need to do is try deal with it now and not put band aids on it."
The grandfather says fighting crime and creating places for people to go for help isn't cheap.
Johnson said, "Money has to be put in these communities in order to deal with the problems that we have."
Johnson says criminals need to face bigger consequences when they break the law.
"Every community that I go in every week, they tell me that they hear gunfire every night in this community. That tells me too many guns in the community," said Johnson.
His solution is tougher gun laws.
"I'm talking about tougher illegal gun laws. Anybody get caught with an illegal weapon needs to do two years without parole," said Johnson.
Johnson says he's willing to stay on the front line of this battle hoping to reach as many people as possible.
Elder Johnson's meeting with local leaders is expected to happen sometime next week. He says many of them have already signed on.
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