Teens Expect to Die before 30

What type of world are we living in where a very bright young man 15 years old has to sacrifice his life to save the lives of his friends? People say access to guns is not a problem. If it is not a problem, how are teens getting access to guns and killing each other?

This week in Tennessee there were teenage gang shootings. One gang shot at another gang member’s home so his gang went out looking for revenge. In the course of these events a 15 year old young man, not involved with gangs, threw himself in front of three girls to protect their lives. In doing so, he was killed. I am attaching a link to this story ‘Heroic’ Football Player, 15, http://www.people.com/article/knoxville-high-school-football-player-killed-shielding-three-girls. This is the world that our teens are living in and this is the problem that guns are causing in our world.

I hear this tragic story from teens that I have worked with over the years. When I tell them they are taking risks with their lives, they tell me they don’t care. I am shocked to hear that response. When I ask why they don’t care, they tell me that everyone is caring guns and knives. Therefore, they say odds are they will be killed before age 25 anyway so they may as well do what they want.

Our teenagers don’t feel safe anymore and parents are unaware of what is happening. When I mention that teens are caring guns and knives for protection most parents say not in Walnut Creek or Danville. Parents believe these things only happen in East Oakland or Richmond. Therefore, when there are programs that address anti-violence in school, parents do not want to spend the money for the programs. They don’t want to spend the money because we don’t have gangs in Pleasant Hill or Walnut Creek, but we do.

A few years ago, a teenager was shot to death on his front door step in Danville over marijuana. There have been teenagers arrested at local high school because they were caring knives. Also local teens that I have worked with tell me about the gangs that exist in Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek and Danville. So the problem of violence does exist in our area. The next question is, what are we going to do about it?

What occurred in Tennessee is not an isolated incident. It happens all over the United States. Now teenagers who are not involved with gangs are being killed. It also is not uncommon to hear about infants being killed in these drive by shootings. Is this the world we want for our children? If not, then parents must take action.

In our area there is Challenge Day and Alive & Free that both do a fantastic job working with teens and addressing non-violent ways for teens to deal with life. I have worked with both programs and I highly endorse both programs. Also teens love both programs. I have seen teens ask to go to both programs and go back several times. Both programs offer workshops on school sites so parents need to contact the principal of their child’s school or contact the program and invite them to your teenager’s school. If we don’t start to get involved, this violence will never stop. Also we have to do something about the access to guns and knives.

Dr Michael Rubino has been working with teenagers for over 18 years. He has been involved with anti-violent programs and addressing this in therapy for 10 years. If you want more information about Dr Michael Rubino or his private practice please visit his website at http://www.rcs-ca.com. Dr Rubino’s website has links to Challenge Day and Alive & Free

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