OPELOUSAS, LA (KADN)- With crime being on the rise across Acadiana, community members gathered in Opelousas today to hold a “stop the shooting” prayer vigil.
The organization Guns Down Power Up hosted today’s event in hopes to influence those behind the guns to think twice before pulling the trigger.
According to Eric Williams, the founder of the organization, it is time for a change.
“There's no respect for life. There's no conscience. It's like animals and people that have no heart, no compassion,” Williams said.
William’s organization's mission is to guide those behind the guns to a better way of life.
“What the program does it helps an individual to understand their purpose, value, and their worth. We truly believe that if we can get people to focus on those three things, they won't have time to be focusing on destroying somebody else's life, or even destroying their own life,” he said.
Donovon Davis, a community activist, came out to the event because he was once heading down a troubled road.
“I’m a concerned citizen. I'm an ex-drug dealer. I come from the same circumstances, deplorable circumstances and conditions that you've come from,” Davis said.
Davis would like those behind the guns should think about how they’re life can change after pulling the trigger.
“Think about those that they loved you and that nursed you think about how they feel if this was to happen to you think about how they feel, how they would feel to lose you in the streets. Think about how your mom would feel,” he said.
Both men believe that it would take a collective effort between local officials and the community to combat crime.