LANSING, Mich. — The recent uptick in gun violence in Lansing has taken an emotional toll on community activist Aaron Blankenburg.
“When you think about the repercussions, like the kids that losing their parents, the mommas that's losing their sons, and the actual people in the violence that's showing their lives a way,” he said.
The Lansing Police Department has confirmed that six people have lost their lives in the city so far this year, and a lot of those involved teens. We reached out to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office who told us that five teens have been charged this year in connection to gun-related homicides.
“I say we gotta get a hand on our kids, the community, the parents, we all gotta step it up,” Blankenburg said.
One way Blankenburg is doing that is through the Advance Peace, a gun violence prevention program that helps young adults at risk turn their lives around through mentorship.
“It's more like a big brother and uncle program type thing,” he said. “Right now, the age group is 15 to 24.”
Blankenburg thinks the first step to finding a solution to the overall issue of gun violence is by working together and facing the problem head on.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to take Lansing boots on the ground doing the work,” he said.