This has been long overdue in the small town of Gaffney, SC. Over the past couple of years, this tight knit Upstate city has been hit hard with shooting tragedies and deaths.
I reflect very hard on this as I come upon the toughest day of the year for me, 1/28. I watched the pain in two ladies’s eyes as they had to do the same as I did with my brother: say goodbye. Their brother was one of many lost to senseless gun violence recently. It has gotten so bad that when I’m in Gaffney late, I’m very careful about where I go and who I’m with.
Now I have had my own criticisms of Gaffney, SC. But the fact is there is a very strong spirit of love, togetherness, and family. You may get asked questions about who you’re related to and who your people are. But they typically treat you well overall as long as you treat them the same. They are actually some of the most kind and good hearted people you will find. It simply seems there are evil forces that exists in and out of the city.
The sheriff election last year caused a lot of uproar since many wanted a change due to all of the violence and they didn’t feel like the Gaffney PD was doing enough to end it. Taking away guns, arresting perps or even closing certain nightspots have proved to only be temporary fixes. Now there needs to be solutions, stronger community watch programs, definite gun control, and more checkpoints in these rougher areas to start with.
I have always regularly seen children playing in Gaffney even past dark. Over the past two years, this has ceased. I don’t see many people spending as much time in Gaffney outside of their own home. That hurts the local economy of course. I realize the police force is understaffed, but there needs to be a greater concentration on ending these violent threats and folks.
The community will have to stand together as they always have. This can end!