COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It may be a new year, but an old problem still plagues the Midlands. We were just hours into 2019 when gunfire again rang out Columbia.
Five people were shot at a club on Decker Boulevard. Sadly, the shootings are all too common.
“We have got to have stronger laws and ordinances to give the sheriff, Sheriff Lott, the ability to shut these clubs down. This goes past irresponsible business owning, into really just a danger to society.”
And it’s not isolated. Multiple Richland County clubs have been the sites of similar violence. Gun violence, in general, is a continuing issue. Recently, a man was shot and killed on McRae Street, north of River Drive.
According to statistics, that area is where the majority of Columbia’s 16 homicides happened last year.
Why does the violence continue? It’s not like law enforcement isn’t doing anything. A combined effort between the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Columbia Police has taken more than 1,000 guns off the streets.
Officials say many of those guns had been reported stolen. They are also working on keeping kids out of gangs and away from criminal activity. It’s a process that has no quick resolution.
“We’ve got too many young people out here with guns that just do not care. They don’t care about anyone’s life, they don’t care what happens when they start shooting these guns,” Lott said.
It will take a lot more work to put a real dent in the problem. We as individuals can do our part by reporting suspicious activity and being positive role models for our youth.
If you are a gun owner, don’t make it easy for thieves by leaving your guns in your car or unsecured inside your home. The other part of the equation is pushing elected leaders for tougher laws surrounding so-called “nuisance businesses.”
Frequently, Sheriff Lott has expressed frustration at county ordinances that don’t have enough teeth to allow for closing such establishments. Give our law enforcement all the help they need to do their jobs.
And let’s turn the tide in 2019.
That’s My Take, What’s Yours?