Community Activists Urging Families to Combat Violence

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As families gather for a Thanksgiving feast, activists are calling on African Americans in the urban core to discuss what they can do to stop homicides that are happening around them.

They believe families are the first line of defense in stopping the violence. They want families to talk about getting rid of illegal guns and find ways to stop shootings instead of watching them. The activists also want to make sure that women are safe from domestic violence.

At Leon's Thiftway on Kansas City's east side, nearly everyone leaving with their Thanksgiving day groceries has been touched by violence and homicides happening in nearby neighborhoods. That's why activists are asking neighbors to add one more thing to their holiday menu.

"After we say the prayer over turkey and the family is still there, before any drinking, before any festivities, we need to talk to each other about homicide in our own community," said activist Ron MacMillian. "We're killing ourselves."

Since the vast majority of homicides are the result of black-on-black crime, MacMillian says this is a problem that can only be solved within the African-American community. It's a message many leaving Leon's Thriftway say they agree with.

"I've lost friends, and some relatives, not directly, but relatives in the distant family and it's a tragedy because there's potential lost," said Nathaniel Wofford. "There's love that was given and shown that can't be replaced. It's touched me."

Others say getting rid of illegal guns and making sure women are not involved in abusive relationships are good topics of conversation to ensure a happy holiday for all.

"You look right out the back door or out the back yard and you witness a murder, this is quite a moving experience," said Tom Bibbs. "Something you never forget? You never forget this."

The Anti-Gun Violence Coalition says it will continue to urge the Black community in an effort to stop killings.

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