Charlotte Talks: 'If We End The War Zone, They Wouldn’t Need Guns'

Apr 9, 2019

Community-Based Homicide And Gun Violence Prevention Efforts In Charlotte

(Left to right) Gemini Boyd of Project BOLT, Greg Jackson of Heal Charlotte, Gary Crump of Men of Destiny
Credit WFAE/Erin Keever

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Charlotte’s homicide count is again on the rise. It’s three times higher than it was at this time last year. More people are resorting to using guns to solve problems. CMPD says this isn’t something police can fix on their own. They need the community. We hear from people working to reduce gun violence around the city.

[Related: CMPD Chief Kerr Putney talks with Mike Collins about what's behind Charlotte's rising homicide count]

Our guests today have been working closely with the city's youth to help curb gun violence in Charlotte -  focusing on leadership skills, conflict resolution, and vocational training. But Greg Jackson, founder of Heal Charlotte, says the problem of gun violence goes much deeper than any life skills training can address. Jackson told Charlotte Talks:

Greg Jackson, Founder and Executive Director of Heal Charlotte

"If we end the war zone, they wouldn’t need guns. They only need guns because they live in a war zone. They feel like they have to fight for territory and capital. That’s the mentality. ‘I need it for my protection from something’ — because they don’t feel like the police are there to protect them. They have to protect themselves."

We hear more about community-driven efforts to reduce gun violence and about the many factors that influence this troubling trend in Charlotte.

(Clockwise from left) Mike Collins, Gary Crump of Men of Destiny, Greg Jackson of Heal Charlotte, Gemini Boyd of Project BOLT in Charlotte Talks' Spirit Square studio.
Credit WFAE/Erin Keever


Gemini Boyd, Founder and CEO of Project BOLT

Greg Jackson, Founder and Executive Director of Heal Charlotte

Gary Crump, Founder and Executive Director of Men of Destiny