From on-the-ground stories to the need of global Arms Trade Treaty
July 5 2012, 3:36 PM by Marta Muixa Casaldaliga
David Grimason, Scottish father whose two year old son was shot dead with an illegal gun 2003, and Julius Arile, Control Arms millionth supporter, met with young community leaders from the Save our Streets Crown Heights program to share their stories and raise awareness about the need of a robust Arms Trade Treaty.
David and Julius shared their heartbreaking stories of loss due to armed violence with the group at the onset of the meeting. Although David and Julius come from Scotland and Kenya respectively, the Crown Heights locals felt a strong connection by Brooklyn’s reality that an Arms Trade Treaty is needed to avoid human suffering.
Afterwards, YO SOS’ (Youth Organizing to Save our Street) members explained how they work with the community to eradicate gun violence on the streets and how they raise awareness amongst students, stressing the importance of education to create peaceful neighborhoods.
Intense debate came from the question: why children and youngster pick-up guns in the neighborhoods? Some of the featured reasons were the culture of fear, unemployment rates amongst youngster or the sense of power.
Save our streets (S.O.S.) is a neighborhood-based movement to stop street violence in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY. An organization that works to prevent retaliations after violence, and organizes residents for a peaceful street response to any shooting that occurs in the target area. The organization also has a youth program of mobilization and promotion of non-violent conflict resolution.