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posted: 2/19/2013 5:00 AM

More parental support would help curb violence

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Could we be missing an important step that would lead to fewer killings and could actually make a difference? We should definitely take a look at eliminating the high-powered rifles that are capable of discharging multiple bullets. And yes, let's keep a better eye on those who show signs of being mentally unstable and possibly limit the access of youngsters to violent video games and movies.

But what about a subject that is hardly being discussed: the many children who are growing up in one-parent families, many of whom are being born out of wedlock in gang-controlled areas? In some areas more than 80 percent of families have only one parent to raise a child to respect the law, believe in God and become a contributing member of society. What chance do these kids have of growing up to become role models and law-abiding citizens?

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It's not just a matter of flooding the neighborhoods with more policeman and collecting guns from the citizens who obey the law. Can't we do a better job of providing counseling to the parents and more opportunities for these youngsters to get involved in church, sports and other extracurricular programs that would interest them more than standing on a street corner with a gun? Can't our leaders launch initiatives that call for families to do a better job of raising our youth? President Obama, in his State of the Union address, came close to a possible solution by calling for preschool for all at-risk children. During those years and beyond, teachers and other watch groups could identify kids whose parents need additional counseling to raise these kids to have a sense of self-worth and a desire to achieve a better life for themselves and their community.

Bob Vogt

Buffalo Grove

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