Re “Sacramento rushed to approve gun violence program – and then waited” (sacbee.com, Nov. 26): Please support the work of Advance Peace. We desperately need an in-depth program to address the downward trend of gangs and violence facing young people. Many young people are poor, grow up in homes where addiction and violence are everyday occurrences, and may spend many hours a week in front of television programs that glorify violence and revenge. Meeting violent thinking with attack thinking, such as tougher penalties or stricter policing, magnifies the problems. Advance Peace offers a group of people willing to enter the fray and meet troubled youngsters on their own turf. It takes time and money to change minds. It takes persistence, building of trust, and showing a different way of life. Real people need to be on the job to keep reminding, encouraging, guiding, talking and listening. Because such mentors often have had a challenging past of their own, they can connect to at-risk youth, and they deserve to be paid and supported. If the guides offer money to the young people as an alternative to drug money, then so be it. We throw money at prisons. Isn’t this a better way?
Ann Rothschild, Sacramento
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