The death of three teens at the Baker Civic Club is an incredible shock in the small-town atmosphere of the Baton Rouge suburb. Yet it is a symptom of a larger problem, one that has afflicted communities large and small in our region: a culture of disputes settled with a handgun.
A 16-year-old was arrested in the shooting. A 16-year-old.
The agony of the parents and friends of the victims is one that we’ve seen all too often, and tragically at what are intended to be happy events like community dances in Baker and Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.
That young people show up armed for events like these is an obvious threat to themselves and those around them. Yet efforts to discourage the reckless use of firearms appear as ineffective as trying to keep teens in the house all the time.
These victims, and the suspected young shooter, deserved to have a life. They also deserved to be able to go out and dance with their friends at an event without such a tragic ending.