There was a shooting at the local mall on Saturday afternoon. A group of kids got into a confrontation and somebody pulled out a gun and shot one kid to death. On Sunday they moved the fight a little closer to us and another young man died in a parking lot behind a restaurant in the business district just up the road. Farther north in Rainer Valley they shot up a gas station and hit a 15 year old in the thigh and a 18 year old in the arm. No one died in the last one. The police say both incidents on Sunday were in retaliation for the first shooting at the mall.
What a waste. I'm guessing here, but I'd be willing to wager that it all started with words. Someone said something to someone who couldn't manage their anger. What a waste.
I remember being that age. I remember how my feelings were so intense I thought I might go crazy. How passion ruled my mind before logic. How everything seemed so big and so important.
But I didn't carry a gun.
The cops say it's gang related and I'm sure it is, but I'll bet you when the parents are interviewed they won't recognize their own child as a gang member. They'll say that they were good kids and they'll be telling the truth.
These kids are the same age as a lot of my friends children. Just a few years older then the kids who live down the street, the sweet kids who like to come up and see the goats and chickens. Kids that should be graduating in June. Kids that might have applied for a job with us in a few years.
Now their dead kids.
They're dead because it's as easy for a kid to get a gun in this country as it is to get a pack of cigarettes.