The time for raising awareness about violence in America has come and passed.
It would be difficult to find someone in the Twin Counties who is unaware of recent violence that has spread throughout the region. This is a problem in rural and urban parts of the state as the Sunday slayings of three people, including a high school student, at a Hustle Mart in Farmville shows.
Horrible events at the local and national level have a way of shaking up a community. For weeks after such a tragedy, people come together to talk about making changes. Emails are sent. Rallies are held. Facebook users click “like” on posts about the situation.
But then that sense of urgency fades and and things slowly go back to the way they were before.
This isn’t the fault of any one person or group. Many people are working hard to feed their families, pay their bills and, if they are lucky, set aside a little bit for the future. Changing a town requires time and effort that can be difficult to spare.
Making real changes also requires focus. When rallies and protests produce a laundry list of tangents to the problem that brought everyone together, the efforts tend to fall apart. It is difficult enough to get a large group of people to agree on one issue. A list of 12 is a sure way to make sure an organization spends more time meeting than on the front lines.
Every rally that calls on people to start doing something is effective only if people keep up that momentum.
The Twin Counties cannot lower violence on an installment plan. The time has come to take the next step toward treating the problem. That will require the combined efforts of churches, community leaders, teachers, law enforcement and, most important, families.
“Until we get real and quit the talking and politicking and all that, nothing is going to change,” the Rev. Mark Eby said at a rally held March 31.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, a day when churches are full and sacrifice is on many minds. We can only hope that the message of peace can spread and take a real foothold in our community.