Our topic this week will is gun control and there’s no shortage of opinions this topic. You know a few people whose lives were taken by guns. Can you tell me the circumstances of those events?
“One kid (I don’t remember his name) I remember… we went to Viso (Visitation Catholic Elementary School) together…shortly after 8th grade, prob 9th or 10th.
He was running from the cops. I believe he stole something from a store. With the cops on foot chasing him, he ran into a factory parking lot and hid in a doorway. Partially hidden, the cop saw him. Ordered to come out, the kid started to come out, reached in his back pocket. The cop shot him dead. The cop testified he thought he was going for a weapon. He went for his wallet.
Factory workers corroborated the officers story, they watched from the windows above & the parking lot. Determination – JUSTIFIED SHOOTING
The second kid was a good friend of mine from Viso & the neighborhood. Bobby. Cops were called to an altercation on the 15th & Market Streets platform. I believe that Bobby was a peace maker in an altercation. For whatever reason, the cop focused on Bobby, and he argued with the cop. The cop tried to cuff him, he resisted. When the cop started to hold him (unbeknownst to the cop) Bobby went into an epileptic fit. The cop thought his life was in danger & shot him dead on the spot. Determination – JUSTIFIED SHOOTING.
Then my neighbor, when I was younger, lost two sons to neighborhood violence. They had two boys and two girls.
Their younger son, was stabbed to death around the corner from his/my house. It was also the corner my brother & I had hung out.
Their oldest son, and I believe their first born, was shot to death around the corner from his/my house, but the opposite corner.
The story, as I remember, was as follows: their oldest son had a dispute with another kid. What precipitated the dispute is gone from my memory. On the day of his death, he was chasing this kid down our street and around the corner. The other kid ran into his house. My neighbor’s son tried to break into his house, but couldn’t get in, so he pulled a gun and started shooting out the windows & thru the door. When he ran out of bullets, the other kid either shot out from the window or opened the door and shot George in the head. If I remember correctly, he died at the scene.”
That’s incredibly sad! Do you believe stricter gun laws would have changed anything in the cases not involving the police?
“Stricter guns laws may have prevented my neighbor’s son and the other kid from obtaining the guns. We’ll never know. I believe that they both were 18-20 years old.”
Where do you stand, personally, on the issue of gun control?
“I am in favor of stricter gun laws. We NEED better background checks; mandatory gun safety & usage classes; limits on the number & types of weapons. I strongly believe that the average Joe or Jane doesn’t need an AK47 or M16 to hunt or for self-protection. If they want those types of weapons, we as Americans have a right to obtain them, BUT, we as a society need to limit and restrict ownership.”
Why do you think there are more instances of mass shootings?
“I strongly believe the increase in mass shootings are the results of multiple factors: breakdown in the family structure (lack of a male role model in the home & many dysfunctional homes); lack of discipline & respect; epidemic of violence in our media, from movies-TV-video games-etc.”
What do you think changed since you were growing up in the 60’s?
“Much has changed since I grew up in the 60’s. Much of the changes I listed above in relation to mass shootings. I also feel that the 60’s, with many causative factors (John F & Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King assassinations, Vietnam War etc.) caused many Americans to lose hope. We lost hope in general, but lost hope in America and its’ ideals.”