Another Shooting in Ft. Myers


Yesterday there was the eleventh death in Ft. Myers this year from gunfire. This happened the same day the police were scheduled to give a presentation on the efforts to combat gun violence. No one seems to want to report the race of the victims of these shootings or the perpetrators. Only four of the homicides have been solved but almost all of them are in what is referred to as “the hood”. There is an epidemic nationwide of black on black homicides from firearms. Have the police tempered their presence and investigations out of fear of being called racists? Why has gun crime gone up so dramatically in the last year in Ft. Myers?
We live in a society where you cannot watch TV for an hour without seeing some show involving guns and violence. The video games mostly involve graphic violence. The rap music involves violence. Almost all of the movies involve gun violence. Has society conditioned our youth, and are we now living with kids that are almost sociopathic when it comes to violence? It has become accepted. Years ago, I went to a fourth grade class in a predominantly black neighborhood to speak. I asked them how many of them had actually seen a dead person. Every hand went up. Every one of the kids had been exposed to gun violence and death. We live in one of the most violent times in American history. The kids in the hood think nothing of “popping a cap in yo ass”. The problem in America is not guns.  The problem is the glorification of shooting and killing to the point it has become ingrained in our youth.
As a criminal defense lawyer, I have noticed a dramatic change in our youth. Violence has become a way of life and carrying a gun commonplace. Increasing the penalties with minimum mandatory sentences hasn’t seemed to work. We need to address the underlying cause of the problem. Guns and gun violence are a symptom of a much deeper underlying problem. Drugs and guns go hand in hand. Many of the shootings may be drug related. Dealing drugs for some is seen as the only way to make a living. With no family structure, no education and no opportunity, for some, it is the only way out. As a society, we need to come together and address the issues of education, poverty and opportunity. We need to treat the cause