A Bowman town councilman called for the community, law enforcement, families and churches to come together to reduce gun violence.

“We have people carrying guns, brandishing weapons at people,” Ike Carter told Orangeburg County Council members Monday.

Carter is a member of Bowman Town Council, but said he was addressing county council as an individual and not a member of Bowman Town Council.

“These kids are starting early,” Carter said. “They are starting when they are 10 or 12, seeing their friends and brothers and uncles carrying guns.”

Carter said he has seen MAC-10s and AK-47s carried on the streets of Bowman.

“It is not a matter of color,” Carter said. “It is a matter of people just wanting to kill. They get in a fight. I don’t want anybody in the community to be hurt.”

Carter says the issue of crime can be solved.

“We put people on the moon, for God’s sake. We can keep people from killing each other,” he said. “I don’t know an answer but I sure as heck want a solution.”

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“The concern is these bullets don’t stop,” Carter continued. “They don’t have a name on it. They are going to start hitting peoples’ houses. One day you are going to wake up and see a baby has been killed in Orangeburg County because of a shootout.”

“They think that COVID is bad. This is an epidemic affecting the entire society,” Carter said.

Orangeburg County Councilwoman Deloris Frazier said crime is a global problem.

“Every time I open the paper – The Times and Democrat – there is a shooting here, there is a shooting there,” Frazier said. “These young people have no care for life.”

Frazier said while the Bible and religion have been taken out of schools, “they have not taken it out of the house.”

“You can have Bible studies in your house, you can do these things so that you can talk to your child and not be afraid to speak to them,” Frazier said. “I don’t know how we are going to solve it. It is going to take community involvement. It is going to take parental involvement.”

Councilman Johnny Ravenell echoed Frazier.

“The first things first: Parents need to start by parenting,” Ravenell said. “When you can get the parents back on track teaching the young folks how and what and what not to do, I think that is going to be our first step.”

Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said the county has had recent meetings with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office to talk about resources and tackling crime.

“We are looking at budget issues and how we get them more resources,” Young said. “We are committed to present that to council for more resources, as much as we can for them as it relates to crime and how we deal with it in the community.

“The county has a huge budget that we have to deal with and sift through and we will prioritize that.”

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