Emergency Town Hall Meeting Addresses Gun Violence

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There was a call to action in the local African American community today in response to the recent shootings and gun violence involving young males.

An emergency Town Hall Meeting brought dozens of concerned residents out as the search for answers continues.

Rev. Glenn Grayson says he wants every young person in Pittsburgh to promise to never touch a gun in honor of his son Jeron Grayson.

It was nearly a month ago that Grayson, an 18-year-old student at Hampton University in Virginia, was killed when shots were fired at a party he was attending at California University of Pennsylvania.

Last month, the suspect, 19-year-old Keith Jones, was ordered to stand trial for criminal homicide.

The emergency meeting brought dozens together to find solutions to a problem that’s destroying families and communities. Many parents, who have lost children to violence, were in attendance.

“Opening up the churches, opening up the schools, getting Grant Street and some of our public officials to understand,” said Rashad Byrdsong, of the Community Empowerment Association. “We have to understand; we have to bring these kids into training.”

Some parents who have lost children say they blame guns and want children to think twice about using them.

“All these people that got guns, it’s just too easy to get guns,” said Victoria Green, who lost her son to violence. “I don’t understand why it’s happening.”

Still, communities must find a way to reach young people and change hearts and minds.

“If you don’t have a relationship with a young person then your chance of impacting them – causing them to change their behavior – is very small,” added Dr. Lamar Lee, a retired school administrator.

  • redrock100

    waste of time

  • Eric Jackson

    When ignorance was allowed to settle into the community like cancer to the body, it was only a matter of time when the body of the community became terminal.

  • Smiller

    Sorry for your loss rev and thank you for trying to save our youth.

  • johnnykov

    How about “Be in bed before midnight”?

  • Darren

    Fathers who care enough about their kids to stay with the mother and help to raise them day in and day out will do more to curb gun violence than anything mentioned in this article.

    Kids need dads who are there for them. If dad has been AWOL the whole time, a 23-year-old bachelor’s level social worker is not going to be an effective replacement to a troubled 16-year-old boy. It’s that simple. I don’t know why so many people think that money, volunteers, social programs, pastors/churches, public officials, or the perjorative “Grant Street” are magical solutions to a problem that is extremely large but not all that complicated.

    Each of these institutions can be very helpful in supporting people, but if the parents themselves don’t care about their kids then there is really no hope.

  • cam

    Continue your mission don’t give up! Your voices need to be heard!

  • expittsburgh

    The parents blame guns. That shows that they’re not ready to make a change. The blame is not the guns, it’s the lack of family/societal values. Until they own up to it nothing will change.

  • john316pa

    Don’t get me started here. It is all about entitlement to black america for something that happened to them 100’s of years ago. If I was President I would utilize the Military on every street corner in every city across America. I would bring down every drug dealer and gang banger in exitstence. It makes no sense to anyone. Now your hate has turned against you and you are killing eachother now. Only the Lord can change families and the brokeness in these young black males. I will continue to pray for black men who make these kinds of choices. I will pray that they realize this is not reallity. There are millions of people living lives of peace and love. I pray they get it before it’s their turn to die such insane deaths. And that they realize like this young man it’s killing the innocent among you too. Violence never works and never will. The world is theirs for the taking why spend their days with these kinds of choices. It’s a very difficult situation. I pray for the Pastors and leaders who are trying to make a difference, Never Give Up. I won’t.

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