Our view: The ripple effect of violence

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 31, 2016

The smiling face of a father with his children in the July 27 edition of the paper should remind us all of the horror of violence and those lost too soon.

Quentin “Quint” Williams was a 25-year-old father of two. Family members and friends remember him as a loving dad, engaged with his young children.

Ages 2 and 4, they will likely barely, if at all, remember their father. He was shot to death just down the street from his home on July 24.

It can be easy enough to become desensitized to this type of violence in the modern day. We see the stories, but the tangible effects aren’t always felt.

Unfortunately, Williams’ family is now feeling the heavy burden. Someone’s father, someone’s son — dead. Why?

Maybe it was a dispute, a fight, revenge or just a deranged sense of principle. Although it’s not known if the slaying was gang-related, it’s well-known street gangs — terrorists — hold no regard for life. Killing is a part of membership and earns respect.

Every day people are killed over things so superfluous — a moment of anger and loss of rationality, the desire to steal what someone else has, ideological differences, an elevation of status in a fake family.

In an instant, someone’s life ends. The “victor” may or may not feel the burden of what he’s done. The victim’s suffering has ended, but for those who’ve lost someone they love, their suffering is never-ending.

It leads us to wonder if the perpetrators — at least the ones cognizant of their actions — of these heinous acts ever think beyond that one event: the killing. Do they understand the suffering they cause, do they see only their target with intent to destroy them over a personal matter, or do they just not care who they hurt beyond the victim?

In this case, even more disturbing is the accused shooter is 15 years old. Another family has potentially lost a child to violence.

As parents, we need to mentor our children about the reality of death and violence. We need to teach them the value of life and how it’s interconnected. No one should be struck down so callously.

Life is worth more than a split-second decision, a notch on the belt or a difference of opinion; it’s not a disposable commodity.