The recent slew of gang-related violence in Modesto and the surrounding areas has rightly resulted in moral outrage and a unifying cry to stop these senseless acts. The word "senseless" may be a cliché when describing gang violence, but one struggles to come up with a more appropriate word. It's time for everyone in our San Joaquin Valley communities to stand in solidarity with the families of the victims as well as with the police, schools and churches. I especially want to admonish youth pastors to tackle this issue head-on. Pastors have an especially powerful tool against gang violence -- the gospel of Jesus Christ, which changes hearts and brings gangbangers out of their lifestyles of darkness.
KRISTOPHER S. PIERCE