Stanley Gray, president and CEO of the Urban League of Hillsborough County, said there’s no simple solution to the problems that led to a mass shooting last month in Ybor City. But parental responsibility for the actions of their children needs more attention, Gray said Tuesday on WMNF WaveMakers with Janet and Tom.
Whatever the city does to confront the underlying problems, it has to be fair and equitable, Gray said. Mayor Jane Castor and the Tampa City Council is considering a juvenile curfew, but that’s difficult to enforce and it would not be equitable to apply it only to Ybor City, he said. Such curfews often are enforced inequitably unfairly.
“What I would like to see is parents held accountable for their kids if your child is doing something wrong you should be held accountable because you’re the parent,” he said.
A 14-year-old was killed in the shooting and was found with a gun, and another 14 year old has been arrested and accused of having a gun.
It’s too easy to get a gun, Gray said. “We seem to be loosening up the laws,” he said. Florida now allows adults to have concealed guns without taking a gun safety course, he pointed out. “Now is the wrong time to be loosening up regulations when it comes to guns.”
Gray said the Urban League is focusing much of its efforts to help young people get good-paying jobs through apprentice programs but is struggling to find qualified participants. If you know anyone who would be interested, go to ULHC.org for more information.