Local effort encourages young people to 'put down the pistol' - KMOV.com

Local effort encourages young people to 'put down the pistol'

(KMOV.com) -- A local grassroots effort in St. Louis city is stepping out to prevent young people from turning to a life of crime.

As long as there has been crime, police have been trying to figure out how to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. So, every Saturday morning for the past year, local pastors, business owners and members of the organization Better Family Life Inc. have been stepping out and spending time in high crime neighborhoods.

They talk to high school students, college students and those trying to turn their life around who have gone down the wrong path.

It is a public awareness campaign to get guns out of St. Louis neighborhoods. Organizers spoke with students about gun violence Saturday morning. The volunteers go everywhere; barber shops, gas stations and even local grocery stores. Those on the front line believe their efforts will save lives.

Better Family Life representative James Clark said, "We don't think there's another issue that's more important right now than this issue of crime and violence, and in order to really address it, we have to be in the neighborhoods in which crime and violence takes place."

The group will go door to door, passing out flyers and encouraging residents not to use gun violence. One organizer said some of the worst neighborhoods they visit are in north St. Louis. 

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