Youth and gun violence - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Youth and gun violence


In the last 30 years, the criminal world has changed. More youth are committing violent crimes. So does this mean the younger generations are becoming immune to violence?

Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon believes more people, especially younger people, are becoming used to gun violence. Something he said he's concerned with and something that needs to be addressed within the home.

"Since I've been chief 11 and a half years, they seem to get younger," Dixon said.

With violent acts usually involving middle-aged people, now more involved a younger crowd between the ages of 14-24.

"I think they're getting immune to it and it's a shame," Dixon said. "Nobody should be in fear of walking the streets."

A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows fire-arm violence is the leading cause of death among youth.

"We've had four homicides this year. One of them was a triple homicide. That subject was, I think [Armonta] Hadnot was 18 or something like that and then our last homicide was basically, I think the victim was 17 and the subject was 18," Dixon said.

Dixon said a lot of factors are involved with young people acting out violently, either they were injured in a violent crime or other factors like music advocating violence, video games, movies, TV, even social media whether it's related to a gang or bullying.

"Our society is almost accepting it and it's a shame and I was just looking at the first six months of this year, our overall crime is down from last year, but our armed robberies are up 150 percent with a weapon. That's incredible," Dixon said.

And so are the numbers. 

Between Jan. 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012, only 29 armed robberies were accounted for.

For 2013, within the first six months, 73 armed robberies were reported within the Lake Charles city limits. Many of them involving youth.

"It is a concern and I think a lot of it starts at home and if you grew up in a household in which you're not held accountable and if you grew up in a household which there's no respect... there's going to be issues," Dixon said.

Dixon said a lot of gun violence among younger crowds is linked to drug use and distribution.

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