This weekend in Washington, D.C., three young men in the Southeast section of the city became some of the latest statistics for gun violence in the District of Columbia. Our cynical natures make us assume that these young men were probably thugs, derelicts, drug addicts or dealers, but we don’t know. However, because of the section of town they were in, and the associations we draw with young folks being shot in D.C., we tend to think of it as business as usual.

Rewind to a week ago, when one of the most promising Washington Redskins players, star safety Sean Taylor, was fatally shot in his home outside of Miami. Let me be the first to say, our deepest and most heartfelt condolences go out to his parents and loved ones. Immediately following the incident, the story of his shooting became national and even international news. We’ve been inundated in the days following his death with breaking news stories and special reports on this young man who at one time in the not too distant past caught a lot of flak in the press for his youthful indiscretions.

Can you imagine what might happen if we were to treat every killing in our country this way? Today, like many others before him, at the tender young age of 24, Sean Taylor is dead. Why does it take a deadly situation with a celebrity as the casualty to bring attention to the tragic occurrences that young people in the United States are exposed to every day? Sean Taylor’s death will not be in vain if decent Americans decide to take a stand and demand that these senseless tragedies come to an abrupt end.

If New York City can see its crime rate plummet, why can’t smaller inner-city and urban areas learn from their tactics in tackling this criminal element head on? We can’t just get emotional when it’s sport and entertainment figures who lose their lives; we must have the same compassion and outrage for those names we may never know, but yet are valued and appreciated by those who love and know them best.

Sean Taylor’s funeral is being held today at Florida International University. Let this be a rallying cry to round up these natural born killing punks who have no moral values and no idea what it means to be a man. Let’s smoke them out, find a jury of OUR peers to convict them, and let’s quarter and drone them until they be dead, dead, dead and no longer deadly.