Young people need an alternative to the lure of the streets [Letter]

It is unacceptable that we have recently lost three teenagers within one week and that we continue to give such incidents the same treatment time and time again ("Two more people shot in Baltimore amid rash of shootings," May 18).

Violence is not remedied simply by having more police, gun control and curfews. Cities with fewer gun control laws and police presence actually end up having lower crime rates. This is not to say that lowering gun control and police presence will also lower crime rates, but people will kill either way with whatever they can find.

People's hearts and minds must be made over. Violence should never be thought of as a solution to problems. We must show youths that there are other ways out. I cannot tell you how many kids I have seen not caring about school and preferring to be there in these streets because it seems to be their only option.

We need to give teens ways to not only be successful later, but now as well. We need to show them that working hard now and making that "investment" is worth it.

Youth should be given a place in today's society, not just as kids who go to school then graduate and suddenly life begins. Give them year-round opportunities that are both fun and rewarding. Instead of attempting to take youths off the street, put them there with a purpose.

We need to look for new ways of fighting this problem instead of recycling ineffective strategies that have failed. Otherwise we are a broken record with an accident waiting to happen.

Nicholas Wilkins, Baltimore

The writer is a sophomore at Digital Harbor High School.

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