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Indianapolis Police Warn Teens

The latest shootings in downtown Indianapolis happened as crowds partied along a canal that had been dyed green for St. Patrick's Day. Although none of the five victims who were shot had life-threatening injuries, police in the city are asking for parents to take more control over their children’s whereabouts. "Parents just need to be more responsible and not use the downtown as a babysitter," said Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Ciesielski. "Two of the victims were 14 years old. Why were they there at 10 p.m. without parental supervision? Who are they hanging with while downtown?"

Teens lingering around after dark, easy access to firearms, and desensitization to violence are being cited as the main reasons behind the increased violence. "Our kids tell us it's no problem getting a gun," said Bill Glick, director of the Indiana Juvenile Justice Task Force. "I ask kids, 'If I drop you off in downtown Indianapolis, how long would it take to find someone to help you get a gun?' They say probably a couple of hours." More officers have been patrolling the area since the summer of 2010, when three shootings injured ten young people at the Indiana Black Expo.

What can parents do to make their teens more aware of (and fearful of) the dangers of firearms? Also, how can the police be involved in this education?

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