One gun death is too many

Published 9:22 pm Monday, December 28, 2009

As 2009 rapidly comes to a close, it is becoming increasingly clear the year may be remembered for the tragedy and horrors that are associated with gun violence.

In recent weeks, this newspaper has reported a number of shooting-related stories, including one just this past week involving a victim who was shot twice in the face. The alleged shooter has been identified, but he still remains at large. Sadly, this is not the only such incident this year. It is our wish, though, that this incident marks the end to such stories.

But with a little more than 48 hours remaining in this year, a violence-free finish to 2009 may be too much to ask.

Suffolk is hardly alone in the fraternity of cities who have had to deal with gun-related crime and death this year. Unfortunately others in the Hampton Roads area alone have faced many more cases.

Some claim that such incidents often increase in number as jobs are lost, earnings are cut and other economic-related stresses are placed upon a population. If that is truly the case, then we can at least come to a better understanding as to why such violence happens.

But when it comes to gun violence, as with drunk driving, the act of pulling the trigger is a moment of decision, a clear-cut choice. To say such crime is related to economics only goes to defend what is indefensible.

This year has seen too many killed and injured through to the use of guns. In fact, one is far too many.

In no way is this a gun rights issue, rather a gun usage issue. The adage, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” is horrifically true.

As we prepare to enter a new year — a fresh start — we hope and pray for fewer gun-related tragedies and fewer headlines tied to the loss of a life.

And in honor of those we have lost this year due to gun-related violence, we offer our prayers for the quick capture and conviction of those responsible.

Let their deaths — though tragic — serve as a reminder every day that the use of a gun as the solution to an argument should never be an option.