Residents disheartened at gun, youth violence in N. Charleston

VIDEO: Residents disheartened at gun, youth violence in N. Charleston
(Source: Live 5)
(Source: Live 5)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Dorchester-Waylyn residents gathered for an eye-opening discussion on gun violence in the area.

Powerful words were spoken by community activists and law enforcement about the amount of crime in North Charleston.

"This room should be packed," said AJ Davis, of North Charleston. "It should be. But I guarantee you the funeral for the next kid or person that gets shot is going to be."

While attendance was low, those who gathered discussed ways of curbing the amount of violence their families have seen.

The Dorchester-Waylyn neighborhood has dealt with numerous shootings over the last several months; a deadly one just last week.

"It's very disheartening," Davis said.

Among the specific topics included gun and youth violence.

A number of shootings seen across the Tri-County recently have involved our youth in some way.

"It's scary to see how little life means to individuals who are so young who haven't lived life themselves," Davis said.

"I'm tired of going to funerals," said a woman in the crowd. "More young folks are now being buried than the elderly. The elderly are going to nursing homes and living a long time."

The group feels communities and parents need to focus more on their children to keep them on the right path.

"They need some hope," said Tanang Williams, President of the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood Association. "I think there's a lot of hope that is missing as far as things they can do."

"They need love," Davis added. "A simple act of showing a kid that they have value to you, and showing them that they have value to themselves is key. Then that will lead, in my opinion, to the likelihood of them being shot down by another kid to be decreased."

Another suggestion given by the group is to follow the 'See something, Say something' slogan.

"We don't like to talk to the police, and that's it," Davis said. "It's one of the biggest problems, because we don't like to talk, we don't like to snitch."

"Every day I look in the mirror and I say what can I do today," said Captain Joyce Smith, with the North Charleston Police Department. "What can I do today to make someone's life better?"

Smith added you have to "be the change you want to see".

The hope is to bring the community together to curb the violence and allow children to live their lives.

"We have the power to change the community for the better," Davis said. "While the problems may seem to be great, the true solutions come from the people who enter this room and live in the communities."

The group also suggested trying to get kids involved in after school activities like sports or other groups.

They also mentioned reading is crucial for the younger generation and can make a difference in keeping them on the right path.

"I told someone the other day I can find a gun quicker in an African-American household then I can find a book," Davis said.

Williams hopes to make this an annual tradition.

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