KSLA News 12 Editorial: June 12, 2013-Gun shots "Normal around h - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

KSLA News 12 Editorial: June 12, 2013-Gun shots "Normal around here"

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When gun shots in our neighborhoods are considered normal, we have a problem.

But in many Shreveport neighborhoods that's just the way it is.

Case in point.

This past Sunday evening residents near Dowdell Street and West 77th were taking cover after they heard gunfire outside. Police were shooting at a suspect said to have an assault style weapon pointed at them.

Mary Swallows who lives there said such events are "normal around here."

Imagine if gunfire was normal outside your house, down your street.

There are too many criminals running around armed with guns up to no good. It's almost a nightly occurrence where someone is shot, or shot at or killed.

It's a problem talked about for years but one that is still with us. So what's the answer? More police in those neighborhoods? Neighborhood watch teams? Lock up the offenders and throw away the key? People who live in these neighborhoods deserve better.

Let me know what you think. I'm James Smith.

Viewer comments:

From Edwin Christian, Scottsville, TX: In reference to your editorial on gun shots being normal in some neighborhoods, there is no easy answer. The police in the case you mentioned probably shot off more rounds than the perpetrator, but that doesn't make it easier.

Some people and the media are pushing for tighter gun control, expanded background checks, and in some cases banning of some types of guns. This is good except the criminal doesn't get his or her gun through normal gun shops or dealers, so changing the laws won't slow them down they will get their guns somehow.

Others are saying leave our rights and liberties alone, we have the right to keep and bear arms. Right now there are thousands of people who have concealed carry permits and hundreds applying daily. The permit requires and federal criminal background check, fingerprinting, passing a shooting test and gun safety class. They have taken on the responsibility of carrying a gun and the ramifications of using it to protect themselves and others from crime.

Still others are saying we should go back to the old days where everyone carried a gun on his hip and gunfights at the OK Corral. The days where you either shot it out with the robber or hung them from the nearest tree for robbing your house.

As I said, there are no easy answers, but we are a land of laws and we as the people need to obey the laws, help the law enforcement community fight crime by notifying them when we see wrong doing and remember we are responsible to look out for our neighbors and ourselves.

From Joe Harris: Gunfire IS a normal thing in my neighborhood unfortunately. I live not too far from where Joyce Bowman lived. Close enough that I know all too well the situation that pursuaded her to try and go after the crime.

There was a time from August last year to January this year that gunfire was happening every night. one night someone was right in front of my house and unloaded a shotgun. 2 AM and I'm dead asleep getting woke up to that. Every time I would call the police and every time they pretty much just blew through the neighborhood without investigating. It was only after someone was shot that a few minor patrols were done. It's down to 0 again now.

Over here off of Jewella close to Lakeshore, it's common to see every sort of crime out there. For instance multiple houses I suspect are selling drugs. I say this due to the continuous traffic of different vehicles day after day. They can't possibly know THAT many people and these people are only there for 5 minutes or less. Then there's the constant BOOM BOOM from radios that are so bad they shake the house. I call the police for that as well and sometimes it does good, but other times not.

I just wish they would patrol the neighborhood as they should. Joyce Bowman tried to organize a task force until she got sick. Your station even did a big report on it. It would be great to see something organized in her honor. Call it the "Joyce Bowman Task Force - Let's get crime under control!"

If people really cared for her as they are saying, I feel this would be a great way to honor her memory. It was her last big project she tried to get off the ground and ended up unable to fully see it through. The police need to start first with disturbing the peace stops. There is a HUGE volume of people with stereos WAY too loud. I'm 42 and still like to listen to music a little loud, but not so that I'm disturbing people in their house as I drive by or in their car while at a red light. Get patrols back. They usually just sit up at McDonalds or somewhere up the road rather than being in the neighborhoods over here.

Anyway, something for sure needs to be done. I don't see it happening though. This town doesn't even like to do what it takes to grow as a city. I saw on the news report about Margaritaville where the one official being interviewed was excited that this could draw people from as far as East Texas. Forget that, we should have things drawing people as far as California. The Louisiana Hayride originated here and there is no history pushed. So many other things and so much more that could be, but they always think small. Just like tackling crime. They think small and patrol as minimal as they can.

I have so much more I could say, but that's enough I think. I really doubt anything will ever get better.

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