http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.guns27dec27,0,5917978.story

By Doug Ward

Although it is very important to make good court cases, get good convictions and get long sentences for “bad guys with guns,” it does not solve the larger issue: kids growing up to be bad guys with guns. There aren’t enough prisons to incarcerate our way out of this predicament.

We must take a serious look at prevention. Yes, prevention. How can we better keep kids from becoming criminals? How can we instill hope into our youth? How can we create healthy communities?

The answers aren’t unknown – they are just hard to implement.

Healthy residents. The root causes of teen disorder start in the womb. Prenatal care, parenting skills, nutrition, health care, early childhood education: All can avoid many problems later in life. Continued family support and quality educational experiences throughout childhood greatly increase the chances for a successful life. After-school programs, athletics and positive adult role models continue the chances for success through adolescence.

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