The American community is going to have to air some more dirty linen and do a lot of explaining to posterity. All indicators continue to support that violence, particularly senseless gun violence is endemic to America. The random and senseless nature of gun violence tells us that bullets have no name.
Businessman and community leader Carroll Oliver was often the vendor of choice of the Dr. Martin Luther King Workshop and Rally. The City of Houston has honored his life work by naming a street in his honor.
Carroll Oliver was cut down by senseless violence. For many years we negotiated with Mr. Oliver to supply meals for our student peer leaders that were mobilized by the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program and Communities in Schools. Mr. Oliver provided deep and generous discounts to cater for hundreds of youth.
On several occasions, we had to lean on Mr. Oliver to employ a troubled student from a poverty background. A smile would develop deep inside of me when I saw that student in the McDonalds uniform at the Lockwood-I 10 store.
The gun violence in inner-city neighborhoods has been unrelenting during the past 50 years.
Jeffrey Canada, in his book, The First Stick Knife Gun, revealed the gun industries steady drive for profit in the 1990’s. Small but lethal caliber .25 and .32 automatics with fancy names such as Vipers were introduced to the American public and the flooding of urban communities with Saturday night specials followed the marketing strategy.
During a Center for Disease Control and City of Houston Health Department youth violence prevention program during the mid- 1990’s, inner-city youth peer leaders were surveyed and most said they could acquire a gun within a few hours.
While we do not know who the misguided assailants were that extinguished the bright light of Carroll Oliver, however we do know that flawed gun acquisition policies do not make us safer.
Perhaps the best way to honor Carroll Oliver is for someone who has clues to the identify of the thugs that killed Mr. Oliver is to snitch to CRIMESTOPPERS.
Wouldn’t it be nice for Mc Donald’s to post a 1 Million Dollar reward to solve this heinous crime?
Whenever I grieve for the victims at Columbine, Charleston or Sandy Hook, a tear will be shed for Carroll Oliver and his family.
The explaining that I mentioned at the beginning of this article will have to be directed at our children and grandchildren.
In a culture of fear and incivility, the dream of strong communities and strong democracy diminishes with each victim of gun violence.