An enterprise report in this newspaper over the weekend told of the carnage in the streets of Fort Myers.
Real, big city-style violence in our front yard.
It seems there is a killing every day. Viewers of morning news shows from Fort Myers TV stations are almost afraid to look, for fear of yet more video with patrol car lights flashing and officers behind the crime scene tape from another overnight shooting.
But really, there have been "only'' 20 so far this year.
Survivors and community authorities were quoted in our coverage as saying they are perplexed. They ask: What can be done to stop it if no one is willing to step forward?
Nobody identifies the suspects for fear of retaliation.
Killings have become so pervasive that when community members gather for meetings to look for answers, mothers of victims get to see each other and perhaps sit next to kin of one of the few suspects.
The killings and low regard for life have become part of and symptomatic of the culture in that predominantly poor, minority area.
Changing the culture is in order, but where to start?
We offer a suggestion.
Education could be the key.
By education we mean encouraging young people to stay in school.
That is the way out of the cycle of poverty, drugs and despair.
Two examples of that already clicking are in our featured coverage. One sister of a slain young man tells how she followed through on her vow to get out — to the University of Florida, where she has plenty of incentive to succeed as a student.
Another vignette told of a police officer, thanks to her education, embracing the challenge of returning to her neighborhood to work to provide guidance for youth in crisis.
Education opens doors.
Education makes progress possible.
With more education, we might never see fewer text messages like the one left by a young man to his mother: "Well nana. I love u u always been dere fo me nd ill neva foget dat u have been a true blessen.''