Time for kindness, a walk, a night out; time for community to come together


What an appropriate word, said by a Market Street man, for what has been happening of late in Williamsport, where there have been four shootings in a two-week period.

In one of these senseless acts, on July 24 on West Fourth Street, a 37-year-old man was shot and killed before the alleged shooter fled to Lock Haven and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an all-night standoff with police.

The other three shootings involved teenagers, with victim ages given as 16, 17 and 19. The 16-year-old was shot fatally early Tuesday morning on Market Street.

The other two were injured — the 19-year-old in the 600 block of Maple Street on July 17 and the 17-year-old in the 1100 block of Almond Street one week ago today. Police have released few details as they work to solve these crimes. They are not saying if any of the shootings are related.

It’s particularly disturbing that three of the victims were teenagers, all male. It used to be said that “boys will be boys,” but this goes well beyond that. We must remember, regardless of whatever it was that they got into, these are children of the community, and the hearts of their mothers are taking the hit. It is a good time to exercise kindness.

It’s also a good time to start up or get back in touch with your neighborhood watch committee. Our hope would be that the police will catch the breaks they need to quickly determine who is responsible for each act of violence and, perhaps more importantly, what was behind them. Our hope would be that this would happen before you read this editorial this morning.

And our hope would be that the community will come together as the village it takes to raise children and keep your eyes, ears and hearts open.

There are plenty of opportunities in the days ahead to join in this effort. Go to church today and pray for our families. Join in a Walk Against Violence that steps off at 5:15 p.m. this evening from Memorial Park. Put your chairs out on your front porch and participate in National Night Out activities this Tuesday.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about this type of violence. Speculation is the devil’s temptation. Instead, let’s band together, keep our eyes open in every neighborhood across the city and county, and help put an end to such senseless acts.