Awareness is key

There’s been a renewed push in Queens to curbing gun violence.

We’ve seen children, teens and adults gunned down in our borough and across the country. Yet, we have not seen much, if anything, done to prevent further incidents. In fact, we go through a similar routine seemingly every time an incident occurs.

We experience collective outrage, call for tighter gun control laws, call for greater mental health awareness and offer truly heartfelt thoughts and prayers for the victims.

But time after time, nothing changes and we are left wondering when things will get better.

The key to bringing about change is increasing awareness, something the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in Jamaica attempted to do earlier this week.

During the Oct. 15 town hall, children and teenagers acted out going to school, hanging out with friends and spending time with family during outings with their siblings. In each scenario, a child or teen was shot.

One of the last performances saw the actors pretend to mourn their loved who were gunned down on the streets and held a funeral procession, which brought many guests in attendance to tears.

The power of awareness is strong, and there should be an increased effort throughout the borough to host similar events. People often think they are immune to these situations. “That will never happen to me or my family,” one may think. The truth is, no one is safe from tragedy. We are all susceptible to these incidents and are naive to think otherwise.

In southeast Queens, LifeCamp works every day to give young people better skills and awareness to defuse conflicts before they escalate.

The organization provides job opportunities, mediation and therapy services, educational help and throws social events throughout the year to aid children between the ages of 13 to 24 and their families by giving them alternatives to violence, bullying and other anti-social behavior.

There must be more organizations like LifeCamp across the borough to help bring Queens to the frontline of the fight against gun violence.

Investing in curing violence is worthwhile. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t put more effort into solving the issue. We’ve already seen an increased push for awareness in Queens. We need ensure that push continues.

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