MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A former Macon Mayor is speaking out against violence in the city after several shootings over the weekend.
“Put down the guns, let’s have a truce if you will,” Ex-Mayor C. Jack Ellis spoke out.
This is the message he’s trying to send after several shootings over weekend.
“One crime is too many, one person being killed by gun violence is too many, but we already have 20–here we are and we’re still in the summertime,” Ellis continued.
On Monday he and other community leaders addressed the recent wave of gun violence incidents in Macon.
“We do know that there’s a cause and effect,” said Ellis.
The conversation wasn’t just on how they could stop it–it was more centered around why it’s been happening.
“Socioeconomic concerns, a lot of these kids don’t have good jobs, we had kids off for a long time last week without adequate resources or diversionary programming for them,” said Commissioner Vergil Watkins.
Ellis says the issues below the surface of violence are complicated.
“Lack of opportunity because there are no jobs, they don’t see any way out, they don’t have hope,” he went on.
But, if we want to see change, we can’t just rely on law enforcement.
“We have got to start dealing with the whole person, getting to the bulk of each individuals concern. Why are you not working? Why are you not in school? What is your anger management and how are we dealing with those anxieties?” Watkins said.
Ellis says they aren’t excusing the behaviors or making excuses for the people who’ve committed the crimes. He and Commissioner Watkins believe finding a solution starts with talking about its causes and effects in the community.
Ellis has already met with Sheriff David Davis to discuss solutions for a positive long term impact on Macon. He plans to keep that momentum with other community leaders in the coming weeks.