Local groups strive to end teen gun violence

SAVANNAH, Ga. – “We want to not make it so cool anymore,” Beverlee Trotter, with Savannah Youth City, said. “We want to make it where as young people can think before they act.”

Having a gun has become the new popular thing to do among teens, according to Trotter who works with struggling youth on a daily basis.

It’s a trend she and Michael O’Neal with Parent University are trying to break.

“Young people dying,” Trotter said. “Young people going to prison for a very long time.”

Young people just like Rassan Sharpe, 16, who shot and killed Kevin Jackson, 16, in March of this year.

That’s why they’ve created an educational forum.

“Our goal is to help young babies or young kids under 10 years old to know what to do when they find a gun, when they see a gun and to hopefully educate parents to know that if you have a gun or if you are a gun owner you need to be educated,” Trotter said.

They did something similar a year ago and hope that it’s just as effective.

“What we are providing is an opportunity for all of those people to come together and talk about their hurt and talk about solutions,” O’Neal said.

They will have experts like a military sergeant to teach them about guns and its effects.

“He was one of the young men to help us disassemble and to destroy guns we’ve collected, so he’s going to be there talking about the good, the bad and the ugly,” Trotter said. “We’re going to have a pathologist there who talks about normally what happens when a bullet penetrates the skin.”

This is to educate teens and parents about gun violence in an effort to stop shootings in Savannah.

“There’s only one way to strengthen people and that’s through knowledge,” O’Neal said. “So we’re trying to create an environment where knowledge can be exchanged and then we can implement that knowledge and make change.”

The event is at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 1st, at beach high school right off of Victory Drive.

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