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We would like to think the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy near a Cambria Heights car wash would sound a wake-up call in the war against illegal guns, but it is sounded every time a young life is lost and nothing happens. It is as easy to buy an illegal gun today in southeast Queens as it was before Kevin Miller was shot. Mothers raising teen boys in this part of town who do not worry every day that their child will not come home are fooling themselves.
The NYPD projects there will be about 457 murders this year, the lowest total since the department started keeping records in 1962. But that will be of little consolation for Kevin’s family.
We have learned Kevin was a good child who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was a good student who served as an usher and youth minister at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jamaica.
The tragedy does not stop with Kevin. Nnonso Ekwegbalu, 16, of Springfield Gardens, and Gregory Calas, 18, of St. Albans have been arrested in the shooting, authorities said. Ekwegbalu said he was not shooting at Kevin, according to police. He was in a gang fight with three other boys. Kevin got in the way. If convicted of murder both could spend much of their lives in prison. Ekwegbalu was a student at Campus Magnet High School, the DA said.
Justice demands Kevin’s killer be punished, but that will not stop the next angry kid with a gun from claiming another life.
The senseless killings will not stop until we stop the flow of illegal guns into our community. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken the fight to places like Virginia, where it is possible to buy guns from unlicensed dealers at gun shows. States must come down hard on these dealers.
The war on illegal guns cannot be won until the mayor makes an ally of the National Rifle Association. Bloomberg and the NRA have seen themselves on opposite sides in the war on guns. The NRA is made up of Americans who cherish the right to bear arms and feel threatened by the anti-gun lobby. But they also do not want see guns get into the hands of children and thugs.
They should work with gun manufactures to keep guns out of the hands of children and off Cambria Heights streets.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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