At a community forum in north St. Louis County Monday night, elected officials, law enforcement and educators discussed ways to curb youth violence. In short, speakers said tackling the problem will require a collective effort and include everything from affordable housing to job creation.
Even though the root causes of violence are often complex, Lt. Colonial Ken Gregory of the St. Louis County Police said fostering healthy families is where the solution starts.
“We don’t have that working for us then we have nothing,” Gregory said.
Parent Educator with the Riverview Gardens School District, Kimberly Broadnax, said it’s critical to have an ongoing dialog.
“It’s great to know that there’s conversation going on about it,” Broadnax said. “And that it’s becoming a more recognized issue.”
Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal said the biggest firearm issue facing the metro area is readily accessible handguns.
“The national conversation wasn’t about the everyday shootings that exist in communities like ours,” Chappelle-Nadal said. “It was about Bushmasters and AK 47s and high capacity magazines. Do we need to deal with that issue? Yes. Is that the issue of our community? No.”
Chappelle-Nadal has introduced legislation that would require a parent or guardian to notify a school district if he or she owns a firearm.
The bill would also make it a criminal offense to improperly store a firearm.
Go here to read the full text of the bill.