Gun violence among young people is a definite concern which is why I was so glad to hear this news.

Students at one of Cedar Rapids' east-side high schools, Washington, are taking a pledge against guns, in a number of ways.

Dr. Carlos Grant, Interim Principal at Cedar Rapids Washington, told KWWL "Washington High School has really felt the pain of several students who have lost their life to guns." Comments from students at the school echoed his comment whether the shootings were accidental or intentional.

Washington student Cordal Lawis said, "One of my close friends he played basketball and he went here and he got shot because one of his friends they were playing with a gun and they weren't supposed to."

Another student at the school, Edna Abraham has also felt the pain. She commented, "Just recently my 3-year-old cousin shot himself in the head with one of my uncle's guns." She also expresses concern about others, saying "They're already heading down the wrong path so they'll probably just keep heading down that path until one of their own gets killed by a gun or they get killed by a gun."

Here's what the pledge says:

"I will never bring a gun to school. I will never use a gun to settle a personal problem or dispute. I will use my influence with my friends to keep them from using guns to settle disputes."

Cedar Rapids Washington has 1400 students and Dr. Grant hopes to get everyone to sign the pledge. He says his goal is simple, "Less shootings, less people losing their lives to gun violence, people willing to talk about yes I know a person who has a gun and they had it here at school."

The final portion of Dr. Grant's comment is a reference to wanting students to say something if they see something, and know that they'll be able to stay anonymous.

I applaud Dr. Grant and the faculty and students at Cedar Rapids Washington. I hope they get all 1400 of those signatures. However, even if they do, that's only the beginning and they know it. Admittedly, not all shootings involving youth are intentional. Unfortunately, the majority of them are. Somehow, some way, words have to be the way arguments and differences of opinion are settled. Guns simply aren't and can't be the answer.

[via KWWL]