Hello to you, youth under 30 years of age who own or have ready access to a handgun, we should talk.

What did you think about when you decided you needed to own, carry or use a handgun?

Maybe you feel afraid – in your home, with your peers, on the street. Perhaps you feel insecure, lost at school or angry at the world.

Whatever your reasons, we feel that you’ve taken a wrong turn, and we hope that you will talk with someone about your feelings and the decision they prompted.

There are caring adults all over Evanston who will listen and who might be able to steer you in another direction: in your home or your neighborhood (siblings, grandparents or other relatives or friends), at churches and synagogues (a minister, teacher or choir director) at Evanston Township High School (counselors, teachers, social workers, safety staff), at Youth Organizations Umbrella, at Family Focus and perhaps in other places you already know.

In addition, we invite you to talk with us at the RoundTable so we can better understand what leads to a decision to obtain and carry a handgun.

Even more, we would like to know what the community can do to convince you to turn in that handgun and to dissuade others from thinking that owning a handgun is a wise decision.

If any of you would like to talk to the RoundTable, you may call Mary Gavin at 847-864-7741. You can also send an email to editor@evanstonroundtable.com or post a comment to this editorial on line.

We can promise limited confidentiality, and, if you have some suggestions about how the community can respond to your needs, we may use these pages to present them.

In any case, if you own a handgun or have ready access to a handgun or spend time with people who own handguns, please find someone to talk with.

If there is a threat of violence against you or someone you know or care about, you should not feel that you have to handle the situation alone.

We hope that you, as members of the Evanston community, will consider the potential long-term consequences of your decision to yourself, your family and your community: inflicting injury upon someone or causing a person’s death, spending years in prison, causing your family and friends to grieve.

As members of the community as well, we should listen.