Kenneth L. Hardin: Questionable expertise not needed on gun violence

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 11, 2022

The gun violence that has engulfed this City for decades brings out the worst in people.  I’m not only referring to those who create deadly chaos roaming the streets living out their fantasies like a throwback to the wild, wild west. I’m talking about all the part time pundits whose only offering to resolve this maniacal monstrosity of continued lawlessness is to suggest taking the animal like perpetrators out back and give them the Old Yeller movie ending treatment.

So, to put an end to all the gun violence, we should shoot the young shooters like wild animals believing this will stop all the other shootings?  Can someone help me make that make sense?  I wouldn’t compare the shooters to animals either as it harkens back to this Country’s dark days of racial brutality based on skin hue.   Its more divisive than helpful and creates opposing positions to address a collective problem.  This City already has a racial divide that leaders don’t understand nor seem to care to fix, so that view is dangerous.

That warped mindset is more pervasive than you can imagine.  Those who feign genuine concern, but lack the courage and commitment to truly address this relentless barrage of bullets will always offer pointless and nonsensical expertise.  I read a statement that screamed the truth about these faux revolutionary thinkers, “Everyone is an expert until expertise is required.  If you don’t know, say so.  Nothing makes you look worse than pretending to know something you know nothing about.”  I had the necessary expertise when I sat in the Council’s high back chair, but arrogance, insecurity and ego from other less informed colleagues prevented me from sharing it. A coward even called a Charlotte based TV news station and reported me for working with gang members during my time in office. I said to the reporter that whoever snitched should be happy I’m out here walking the streets and trying to get these shooters to lay down their guns.  It’s sad that all the others would much rather engage in drive by leadership based on statistics and hypocrisy instead of actually getting out into the community and seeing where the problems truly exist. Walking a parade route and waving or buying a chicken plate is not the same thing as being in the community.

I’ve been unapologetically knocking on the City’s front door about gun violence for 30 years, but rarely has anyone been at home.  Now I’ve taken to social media to share my disdain for the leadership failures responsible for this ongoing public safety crisis.  Last week, I received a response from someone who doesn’t look like me, “If there were packs of wild dogs roaming the city biting people, destroying property, making it unsafe for children to play outside, even in their own yards, making people afraid to attend events around the city or patronizing restaurants and businesses in the downtown district, creating chronically dangerous areas of the city and county. My guess is that there would be a task force assembled and these dogs would be hunted down and exterminated…I grew up in Salisbury in the 60s and 70s and it breaks my heart to see what this once peaceful and child friendly city has become…I am much more concerned with protecting the innocent than hoping to change the lost! Good luck fixing a completely broken system!!”

First, we already have packs of actual large wild animals that have been running around majority Black communities for years terrorizing children, destroying property and harboring potentially harmful transmittable diseases, yet the City has done nothing to address this.  So, this “expert” opinion about exterminating animals is laughable. The problem rests squarely on the shoulders of the shooters’ parents, but many others share in the blame for the degradation, continual crime and out of control gun violence. Until we put an end to babies having babies, the crime and gun violence won’t end. Children who’ve never been taught morals, values and ethics can’t teach them to their children. Our school system is failing. Churches should care less about being the go-to church, cease ministering only to those who pay tithes, and work more with the sinners in the community.  Organizations like the local NAACP have sold their soul and are useless to those who desperately need them. Leaders now only look to be recognized and awarded.  They won’t say or do anything to jeopardize being reelected. They have no clue how to address this crime and gun violence issue. They’re not in touch with the people so they don’t understand or care what the pain of those impacted involves. Instead they waste resources on nonsense like unneeded parks and festivals to distract people from all the sordidness and crime.

We can make Salisbury safe again. All these experts with ridiculous fixes, shhhhh.

Kenneth L. (Kenny) Hardin is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.