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Carole Sumner Krechman Headshot

The Continuing Shame of Violence

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It was hard to watch the news this week, as those poor suffering families of children slain at Newtown Elementary School were forced to stand up to the Congressional madness after having their darling child snatched from their lives by random violence. They now find themselves begging our lawmakers to step up and begin to set limits for gun ownership.

When I went to build my first dream, an entertainment and community gathering place in South Central Los Angeles many years ago, I was young and had a vision to take my talents and give back to the city I was born and raised in. Seeking a place that nobody wanted was both a challenge and a blessing. The challenge was to get the neighborhood to agree that I could build a roller skating entertainment center and cater to the local community of primarily African-American teenagers and keep the place safe, gang-free and a positive addition to the neighborhood. I had to assure bankers that we would be able to deliver and make money. The community wanted a safe haven for their families to meet and play without fear of the violence always out in the streets of their neighborhood. By overcoming all of these challenges, we got the facility and rent for a reasonable rate and the community supported us all the way, pledging to keep the place safe from violence.

We are going to celebrate our 25th year of operation in 2014. We have never closed and are still a mecca for our community and beyond at World on Wheels.

I witnessed first-hand how a community can change and make a difference in the lives of its members, and if there is determination and a just cause, the community can prevail. If our customers can perpetuate my dream to create a no violence zone even in one of the roughest areas of urban America, we can join together and stop these random killings and the selling of military-style weapons to civilians.

So, to all of us around this country who have experienced a violent death in their family, we need to rise up through social media or email or whatever method to tell whomever needs to hear it that when you loose a loved one from violence, it is like your skin being peeled off every day, like a part of you has been ripped from you life. You never get over it.

We all need to stand with the Sandy Hook parents. You know and I know; now let's let lawmakers know.