The Atlanta Police Department reported Sept. 1 that 1,343 guns have been stolen from cars so far this year.

“This is a statistic that does not have to be,” the police department said on Facebook. “Stolen guns in the hands of the criminally minded, provides more access to commit more crimes.”

Gun violence has become a serious issue this year, with more than 600 people shot and 109 homicides in Atlanta so far this year, said APD.

“Approximately 60 to 80 percent of the homicides involve people who know each other on some level,” police said. “We see acquaintances, family members and friends making the choice to use a gun to settle disputes. These statistics tell us that far too many people have limited conflict resolution skills, do not value life, and are not fit to be gun owners.”

The department made a plea to the community, asking people to make better choices and take responsibility for the management of their anger.

“We are perplexed at how many people are willing to throw away their lives, abandon their families, or destroy another person’s life over an argument, disagreement, or petty violation,” said APD. “Let’s work together to make a difference. Be mindful of your actions. Walk away from disputes. Think before you act.”

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk is Editor of Reporter Newspapers. She can be reached at editor@reporternewspapers.net