Sixteen-year-old Mike Barjon was killed hanging out with a friend about a block from his mom's home.
Big Daddy, you may want to stop reading here, 'cause you're gonna call me mean. But I was watching a TV report on the shooting last night and the Ken Doll said "this community wants it to stop," in reference to the neighborhood where the shooting took place.
Sorry, I gotta disagree. You know who wants these murders to stop? The families of the victims, and the old folks who bought homes in the neighborhood decades ago and have tried to maintain the place.
The community as a whole does not want these murders to stop. "The" community may not want the murders to happen, but "the" community is not doing anything to make them stop. I know this because someone - many folks, probably - knows who pulled the trigger on this latest killing. And you know what? They won't tell. They will not turn the shooter in.
And it will happen again. And people will stick their heads in the sand and they won't turn the shooter(s) in.
When I covered crime, it never ceased to amaze me that in the most war torn neighborhoods some people would protect violent criminals with the same ferocity that good parents protect their children.
I understand that some of that was about self-preservation: people so scared of the bad guys that they look out for the bad guys in the hopes the bad guys will spare them once the police leave the neighborhood.
But if collectively whole neighborhoods teamed up and turned the bad guys in, who are the bad guys gonna turn on? I say no one. If they know the neighborhood as a single entity isn't scared of them they're not gonna terrorize one person as payback. They'll move on - unfortunately, to another neighborhood where most of the residents are still scared.