Writer turns childhood incident into kids’ book about gun violence

MANCHESTER — A local resident has turned a story from his childhood into a children’s book that deals with gun violence.

Melvin Douglas Wilson, who grew up in Springfield in the 1960s, has lived in town for 14 years. The story he wrote takes place in 1968 when he was out with a friend of his who had taken a gun from home to try and fight a school bully.

“Jimmy’s Got a Gun” tells the story of Mely Mel — a character based on Wilson — navigating adolescent life in an urban community with his friends. The young boys are a force for good in their community, until Jimmy threatens another child with a gun, accidentally fires it, and skims the ear of one of their other friends.

“Not all problems in society today are social or economic,” Wilson said.

He believes that although there needs to be meaningful legislative change in respect to gun ownership, there needs to be moral change in this country as well.

“There are no moral messages anymore,” Wilson lamented.

He thinks television programs and movies lack the moral themes that they used to have, which contributes to the violence problem that some communities are experiencing.

In the book, Jimmy’s parents undergo counseling through their local church as a result of the incident, and they promise to work with law enforcement when there are issues within the community, rather than resorting to violence.

Wilson said it’s up to churches to be involved in their communities. He became involved with his local church after his mother died. Her death made him realize he needed to make changes to become a better person. Now, 15 years sober, he wants to spread the message of morality and goodness.

He hopes people will read the book to their children and have meaningful conversations about the importance of working with local law enforcement to solve problems. He also hopes future generations will return to church and use it as a resource for peace and spirituality.

Originally published by the Journal Inquirer

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