A Drive-By Shooting In My Neighborhood
Drive By Shooting In My Neighborhood
It Happened Here...In MY Neighborhood
I heard gunshots the night before last. I wasn’t sure that was what it was until yesterday morning, but that is what it was. I was getting ready to head to bed and I heard what sounded like fireworks going off. Pop-pop-pop…pop-pop-pop…
The next morning my husband and I were taking our grandson to daycare and him to work. We drove past a Chinese restaurant that is literally just around the corner from us. There were police cars all around, as well as orange police tape and news trucks from several local stations. At first I didn’t connect the sounds with the scene out the window. As a matter of fact, I didn’t connect the two until I heard it on the news later that morning.
I discovered that the night before there had been an argument inside the restaurant. This restaurant is only one of a very few that are open until three in the morning. It seems that two warring gangs had met at the restaurant and began the argument. Management asked them to take it outside – which they did. Soon guns were brought out and the shooting began. In the end three people were shot – two were in critical condition. I also learned that one of the gangs wanted to retaliate and went to a nearby neighborhood. They shot into three or four houses and there were bullet holes in many of the vehicles on the street.
I am not naïve. I know these things happen. There is an area of town – like in most big towns – that this happens in all the time. You hear about it nightly on the news. But this was different. This was MY neighborhood. We moved here because of its safety. This is a “good” neighborhood!
It is sad to say that this made a difference. Before, I wasn’t thinking of the many families that were affected by these gangs. I wasn’t thinking about the kids that lived in those neighborhoods where this IS an everyday occurrence. I mean, I did think about it, but only in that “Well, that’s a shame” kind of way…not REALLY thinking about it.
The neighborhood that was shot up the night before last was one that many of my students live in. Kids that I personally know – ones that I am involved with on a regular basis. Ones that I think about daily. Good kids, with good families.
Those other neighborhoods have good families with good kids, too. Families that live there because of the inexpensive housing. Kids that must live there because of economic realities. And those kids, those families have to fear for their very lives every day. Not just once in a while, like me – like the kids that live close to me. This is something that happens so often, that to many it is just a part of the daily routine.
This incident scared me. Scares me. I don’t know any of these people that were involved. But they brought their trouble to MY neighborhood. To MY students neighborhood. And it made me think about how many students…how many kids…have lives disrupted by gangs every single day. I want this to stop.
I want to be able to do something to make these gang members – these kids- realize that they are not only ruining their lives and their families lives – they are also hurting hundreds – and thousands – of kids and families by their activities. They are killing innocent children – innocent families…What can I do to stop this from happening?
There are many organizations that are there to take care of kids so that they don’t grow up and feel that they need to be a part of a gang. Organizations like The Boys Clubs and other great places that try to reach out to these kids to make them feel like they are a part of something – part of a family – so that they don’t turn to gangs. If these great and awesome organizations can’t stop all of these kids from joining gangs, then what can I do? I am just one person…what can I do?