Pensacola's red line on gun violence

This ought to be our "red line."

As friends and family held a vigil for a 14-year-old girl shot and killed by gunfire on Maxwell Street in Pensacola last week, the effort to remember Kenteyonna Anderson ended.

With gunshots.

Investigators say they believe Kenteyonna was an innocent bystander shot to death in an altercation she had no part in among a group of people to whom she was not connected.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that the crowd gathered Sunday night near where Kenteyonna was shot to remember her was instead sent scattering by the sound of gunfire close by.

At 8 p.m. on a Sunday.

If ever this community were to have a "red line" on the issue of gun violence -- an incident that is so far beyond the pale that to a man, woman and child we stand up together and say, ‘No more” -- disrupting the vigil for a 14-year-old killed in crossfire of gunshots with more gunshots ought to be it.

Even Omar Little knew better than shoot up a neighborhood on a Sunday.

The Sheriff’s Office must see it as a red line. They are launching a public outreach effort at 1 p.m. on Thursday aimed at saying, “this far and no farther.”

In addition to public service announcements featuring Rodney Jones and his wife, LaTasha, founders and pastors of New World Believer's Ministries, there will be information about how to use CrimeStoppers to give information to investigators anonymously, and the unveiling of a new program to get illegal guns off the streets.

Because make no mistake, fellow citizens, there is a gun problem in this community. Too many people who ought not have them, do.

Every pastor with a congregation that draws from that neighborhood who lets church night go by tomorrow without exhorting the congregation to reclaim the streets from those who see each corner as a place from which to turn a profit is failing his or her calling.

Someone who lives near the 1200 block of West Maxwell Street knows exactly who shot Kenteyonna Anderson.

And every soul who is keeping that secret -- by commission or omission -- as is culpable in her death as if they had pulled the trigger.

Every homeboy who thinks the code of the street -- where it is hear no evil, see no evil, and snitches get stitches -- is going to protect him forever from the sin of killing is living on borrowed time.

Because even Omar, the biggest proponent of the rules of The Game, got capped in the end.

In the head. From behind.

That's The Game, brah.