In the last two days, a few people have been shot and the shootings took place literally within a block of each other and, ironically, they took place in the area I used to live in before I moved to where I live now. The violence in the city of my birth keeps getting worse and I’m sure that the oppressive heat we’ve been experiencing plays into it.
That area used to be a nice one, until the riffraff started moving in and the drug dealers began to expand their areas of operation in that part of town. These latest shootings – after the horrific events that took place in Eden Park – just bothers the shit out of me. With all the shootings that have taken place in the city over the last month, the police haven’t been able to implement their plans to flood the area with officers yet and I fear that the situation in this part of town is really going to blow up, literally and figuratively.
Without getting political about it, the great decline in our local economy, combined with the lack of jobs and a minimum wage rate that wouldn’t get anyone above the poverty line, is really wearing on the city, as it is in many other cities. You can see the cycle: People can’t find work, it’s depressing, people turn to drugs and alcohol to ward off the depression; money is owed to people who’d kill you without a thought in order to collect it; rival drug dealers compete for the limited turf in the area, sparking wars and vendettas against each other.
City officials have such a problem on their hands. They’re trying to revamp the city so they can once again attract high-profile businesses… but said businesses are reluctant to come here because the area targeted for revitalization is swamped in crime and while it’s nice for them to have a grand plan for public safety, they’re really damn near powerless to put a lid on this – and keep the lid on.
Various anti-crime organizations and churches do their best to get the word out to stop the violence… but it’s the city’s responsibility to get something done about it; otherwise, we’re going to wind up with a city full of vigilantes and the killings will just escalate because, of course, if a bad guy gets gunned down, his ‘friends’ are going to want revenge.
It makes me wonder, with this recent rash of shootings, if the city should invoke martial law and request assistance from the governor and the National Guard to put the city on lock down and, importantly, use the authority they’ll have by invoking martial law to seriously get after the known troublemakers and get them off the streets and into not-so-comfortable prison cells. It would cause problems for the law-abiding citizens… but something has to be done!
If they – the city government – allow the violence to escalate unchecked, more innocent people could be shot and killed, just like that teen in Eden Park. My baby suggested we refer to that part of town as the “OK Corral” because of the increasing number of shootings taking place – and it’s an apt analogy.
It just makes me sick to see this happening…