Silence Is Violence

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week (Event Calendar)

June 27th Weekly Update!

Date: Fri, Jun. 29, 2007

Hi, everyone...

The heartbreaking death of Kenner four-year old Theard Compton has

forced to the foreground one of the original issues highlighted by

SilenceIsViolence when we began work in January: Gun Safety, Gun

Responsibility. We live in dangerous times, and nobody could fault

New Orleanians for wanting to protect themselves. But if you feel

your personal and familial protection must include a gun, please take

every measure to respect and safeguard that gun. The gun that killed

Theard apparently was brought into the house by his 17-year-old

brother Taiwan. Taiwan could only have come into possession of that

gun illegally. Too many guns are illegally sold, stolen, and lost

without a trace in this city—without a trace until they reappear

during a violent crime, that is. If a gun is stolen from your home or

vehicle, report the theft immediately. If you are aware of illegally

owned, sold, or traded guns, call Crimestoppers (504-822-1111) with

information. For more information on efforts to stem illegal gun

trafficking, visit www.bradyfoundation.org or

www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org. Watch the video at

http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=707305325 for a message from

a broad coalition of America's mayors that is both heartening—New

Orleans is not alone in the problem of underage gun possession—and

frightening: possession of guns by young people is holding the entire

nation hostage. SilenceIsViolence continues to seek opportunities for addressing and

combatting the violence at the level of neighborhood activism, through

a number of ongoing programs: 1. Our City Walks are the first of several neighborhood-oriented

SilenceIsViolence programs that will resume over the next few weeks.

Residents of the Lower Garden District, Garden District, and Irish

Channel are especially invited to join us this Thurday, June 28. We

will meet at Sophie's Ice Cream Parlor (1912 Magazine St.) between

6:30 and 7pm, arm ourselves with gelato and shakes, and walk through

the Irish Channel to Rue de la Course on Magazine and Harmony. The

walk departs at 7pm and should arrive no later than 8pm. The full

route is available at www.silenceisviolence.org. As always,

transportation will be provided back to the starting point. 2. Next, a summer session of SilenceIsViolence/Save Our Brass Youth

Music Clinics at Sound Cafe is about to begin. We call upon all

interested children and adults to join us Tuesday evenings in July

(beginning July 3) at 6pm for free musical coaching, free dinner for

kids under 12, and a performance by the Free Agents Brass Band.

Recent donations of instruments from the Bean family and from Ronn

Gilbert, a musician and supporter in Milwaukee, will make these

sessions especially rich for young people interested in learning

music. 3. Finally, the Speak Up showcase for local high school students,

hosted by SilenceIsViolence and the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund

last month, was such a success that we are planning a summer edition.

Speak Up! Part 2 will take place at the end of July; we will send more

details as the event draws near. The six-month anniversaries of the murders of Dinerral Shavers and

Helen Hill, two tragedies that tipped the balance for those of us who

initiated the march to City Hall in January and marked the formation

of SilenceIsViolence, are upon us. Next week we will write to you

with updates on the status of both cases and with insights into what

these cases have exposed in the criminal justice and law enforcement

systems. For now, we ask you to keep both Dinerral's and Helen's

families and friends in your prayers, and to remember these two

generous artists in the light of the inspiration their lives provided

for so many of us. We can only hope that their tragic deaths, and the

tragedy of every violent death, will continue to inspire citizens to

fight for a safer New Orleans.

Ken and Baty