Valerie Rice | June 17, 2021
Once upon a time last night I made the mistake of walking the dog. Now, why would I call this a mistake? Was it because it was dark? Was it because it was after midnight? Or was it because I managed yet again to watch people get shot in my neighborhood. Yeah, it was the last one. And yet again my children were present. But THIS time someone died. I mean, last time someone was injured. This time my young child got to witness the horror of a woman bleeding out on the sidewalk. So I guess I won’t walk the dog anymore.
Alright, if you thought my conclusion sounded ridiculous, you are correct. No amount of avoiding a potential threat is going to prevent horrific things from happening. However, while watching the news coverage of my neighborhood crime scene, I discovered that this is the exact type of comment people were leaving. It really made me angry. A woman was shot and killed and there are idiots who are seriously blaming her for being there. Better still, we have the jerks who are touting the logic of giving “good guys” guns, and saying that they could have saved her. To all of those people: Kindly STFU.
I suggest that instead of feeling morally superior, we reflect on what might have actually happened. I don’t mean the chronological events. I mean the fact that the root cause of crime is poverty. I mean that flooding our country with dangerous weapons was a really stupid idea, as is refusing to remove them from the hands of dangerous people. I mean that hunting down and punishing the shooter is nice, but it isn’t going to stop it from happening again. I mean that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the answer does not lie in adding more cops to the area but instead increasing social supports. This is so maddening.
I’m exhausted, and heartbroken, and my community is grieving. I have not seen children outside all day, and no wonder. I mean sure, we are used to the sound of gunshots and we know how far away they usually are. We avoid talking to police and try to work things out amongst neighbors, like adults, and occasionally things like this happen. But FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!! That is all. Be Well!