OpinionReader Letters

Letters: Violence in New Orleans

Re "Silence speaks in New Orleans," Aug. 29

I am disappointed with The Times' article on the shooting of black teenager Marshall Coulter by a white resident of New Orleans.

The article states that because of spreading crime, residents here are united by fear. In fact, murders have decreased substantially in 2013; through Aug. 29, there was a 25% decrease in murders compared to the same period in 2012. New Orleanians are not united by fear; we are united by our resolve to end the epidemic of violence in our city.

Our youth should not be feared. I do not live in fear of our youth; I live in fear for them. I fear they have had to overcome too many obstacles, and I fear the toll that has taken. I fear that we continue to fail our youth, despite our best efforts to create more opportunities.

And I fear that narratives such as this one transform boys like Coulter from a young man who has made mistakes into a nameless, faceless "other" who must be feared.

Chris Gunther

New Orleans

The writer overseas the family violence prevention program for the New Orleans Health Department.

Anyone who accuses the shooter of latent racism is totally off base.

It was around 2 a.m., making it impossible for him to see who was breaking into his yard and decide to shoot because of race.

I'm surprised it wasn't speculated that the dog's bark had some kind of racial motivation.

Georgia Jessup

Santa Monica

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