NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry community leaders are educating children on gun safety.
“This is an initiative because June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month,” North Charleston Police Lt. Tireka Wright said, “and we want the kids to participate with good activities to get them from crime, and being victims of crime.”
They say they wanted to host the event to reach children, who are now out of school.
“When you don’t give them an adequate replacement,” John McNeill with Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace (RECAP) said, “we’ve heard this saying a thousand times, ‘An idle mind is the devil’s playground.’ So, we’re giving the kids an opportunity to come out, have some fun and establish relationships, which is most important.”
One neighbor says she brought her children to Thursday’s event because of an incident that happened to her recently.
“A couple days ago,” Lakia Bailey said, “I was involved in a shooting that happened at my house. We have five holes in the house. No one was hit, but it’s just the fact of the matter that it happened.”
Bailey says she’s thankful community leaders are taking the time to invest and educate children.
“What they’re doing out here is very nice because it means a lot,” she said. “It means a lot to me and other people as well who wants this to stop.”
They’re hoping that Thursday’s gun awareness event starts a trend that will lead to safer neighborhoods.
“What I want to happen is a ripple effect,” Donnimechia Singleton, president of Positive Vibes Ronjanae Smith Inc., said. “Every neighborhood should be doing this. Everyone should be coming together and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do a Stop the Violence Awareness Day in our neighborhood. So that, the young people, the people that are using the guns can grasp hold and say, ‘Hey, I know them.’” Organizers say there will be a gun awareness event for children every Thursday for the rest of the month of June.