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Terror on the streets of South Los Angeles

July 07, 2006

Re "Gunman Kills 3, Wounds 1 on Sidewalk in South L.A.," July 1

Last Saturday, on the same day that a terrorist bomb exploded at a market in Baghdad, killing 77 people, a gunman in South Los Angeles opened fire on a group of young people on a sidewalk. Three people were killed, including a 10-year-old boy.

If the Iraq incident is called terrorism, then the South L.A. atrocity has to be called the same thing.

How long are we going to allow the terrorism against innocent people in our own cities to continue, while claiming to be fighting it on the other side of the world?

MARK LEINWAND

Agoura Hills

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Another senseless shooting claimed the lives of 10-year-old David Marcial, 17-year-old Luis Cervantes and Larry Marcial, 22, and critically wounded 12-year-old Sergio Marcial Jr. These victims were not criminals or gang members. Two of those killed were simply kids, stripped of their lives at far too young an age, who now join the nearly 50 children slaughtered by gunfire in Los Angeles each year.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other city and county officials have offered a $105,000 reward for information leading to those responsible for the shootings. Although the move is admirable, the Los Angeles City Council has done little to prevent these malicious acts of gun violence from terrorizing our homes, plaguing our schools and ravaging our communities. The council must enact more stringent regulations on firearms and ammunition to prevent more blood of our most innocent victims from spilling onto our streets.

In his inaugural address last year, Villaraigosa made a pledge to "battle against crime and gun and gang violence." There is no better time to make good on that promise.

NIKO AND THEO MILONOPOULOS

Studio City

The writers are co-founders of Kidz Voice, a group run by kids to provide them a voice in the political process.

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