Another stand to stop violence – and hope it works

For the fourth year, the Stop the Violence basketball tournament was held in Williamsport recently.

The event was started to forge a bridge of peace and understanding between Williamsport and Philadelphia, the city that is the origin of many people who live here.

This year’s event was dedicated to the memory of Chaz Sawyer, the 18-year-old man who was shot and killed on Aug. 4 at Newberry Estates. The shooting also left a nephew critically injured and proceeds from hot dog and hamburger sales went to help cover the nephew’s medical costs.

The event is a great idea.

And the dedication to a shooting victim is heartfelt.

But the goal should be to stop having to dedicate these events to lives lost.

The people organizing this event are tired of violence in their community. We suspect they’ve got lots of company. We laud them for their efforts.

Eventually, their sentiments have to be the unanimous mindset of all parts of our community if we are to end this senseless violence locally.

That mindset has to show itself in the kind of cooperation with police that helps them eliminate those committing violence before they get the opportunity.

That mindset has to show itself in a house-by-house upbringing of children that steers them away from the culture of violence and drugs that ultimately has a tragic ending.

We salute the organizers of the event and others who are trying to stem the tide of violence that is too prevalent in our community.