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News of a shooting spree that took three lives in Livingston Parish and two in Ascension Parish by the same gunman came just three days after a French Settlement man allegedly shot and killed a man and left his body in Springfield.   

Both cases were disturbing, particularly the shooting spree that spanned two parishes.

Perhaps the worst part of the story is that we are not alone – far from it, in fact.

In the case of Dakota Theriot, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard and Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre both said he was not on the law enforcement radar as far as domestic violence issues, although reports have since surfaced that he had a history of abuse.

Nothing can bring back the victims, but it should raise awareness about the increase in violence in the outlying areas. 

We can take solace that Livingston Parish does not have the same degree of violence as large metropolitan regions.

However, a total of four homicides in the course of one week represents the growing rate of violence in outlying areas.

Keep in mind it’s far from just Livingston Parish. It’s in outlying areas throughout much of America.  

How we curb a violent culture is a complex and seemingly impossible question to answer.

We know much of it comes in the home, and it also points to a greater need for mental health care, just as police throughout the nation have said over the past several years.

It’s hard to imagine what – or if – a solution exists. It will take more than law enforcement or awareness groups to address the issue.

It’s going to take a community. Every effort would help.

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