NAACP Convention talks gun violence - WRBL

NAACP Convention talks gun violence

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The 71st annual NAACP state conference headed to Columbus Thursday for the first time in 10 years. News 3 was at the first session of the conference Thursday afternoon. Gun violence was topic of discussion.

The group talked about guns and mental illness and also the availability of guns and ammo throughout the United States. In 2010 there were 376 gun murders throughout Georgia and Columbus is no stranger to this reality. Just 2 weeks ago 34 year old David Scott was fatally shot in the forehead at 7th street and Coolidge avenue and less than a week before that incident Harry Short Jr. was shot and killed at a night club in Columbus.

Reverend Willie Phillips, a Columbus activist who protests gun violence says community members need to address the problem in order to correct it.

"We have to stand up and start speaking these things to our young people to let them know it's time to start loving one another. If we respect our guns and respect people we wouldn't have the problems that we're having now," said Phillips.

Reverend Richard Jessie, the moderator at the NAACP panel discussion also talked about crime in the community.

"We've seen an increase in gun violence in Columbus this year. We were the 1st in the country to have a murder at one of our night clubs. In some of our communities we've seen drive by shootings and other incidents we've very much concerned about," said Jessie.

Phillips says there have been 4 nightclub shootings so far this year. Columbus has had 16 homicides since January.

Phillips and members of the NAACP agree that the church plays a vital role in helping to curb gun violence in the community. Phillips also says parents need to take an active role in educating their children about guns.

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