HOUSTON – Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the rash of shootings involving children across our area is reaching a crisis point.
What’s more, he added, this is a complex issue, something a “one size fits all” strategy won’t solve.
“We’re pissed. I know the community is pissed off about it. As a community we all need to take a stand and say enough is enough,” said Gonzalez.
It’s only May and so far this year, nine children in our area have either been killed or hurt in shootings. A recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine shows a child or teen is more likely to die from a shooting than in a car crash.
In 2020, 4,300 kids died from shootings. That’s a 29% increase from the year before.
“We know at the end of the day, we can’t arrest our way out of these problems. We do need some strategic investments,” Gonzalez said.
If he had a wish list to effectively fight gun violence and its impact on our kids, the sheriff said it would contain the following three components: More resources, more programs that keep kids out of trouble and provide them with safe opportunities, and more accountability in all levels of the criminal justice system, especially the courts.
“In terms of bail decisions as well as making sure those cases that are in court are moving swiftly through the system and without long delays, without long backlogs,” Gonzalez said.