Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Narbonne High All-City Football Senior Killed by Gang Shooter

"Narbonne High teammates mourn a life cut short by violence,",0,3043581.story by Dannie Farber Jr., an All-City wide receiver was shot and killed Sunday night in Compton while eating dinner at a Louisiana Fried Chicken establishment. (The original story High school football star shot to death in Compton restaurant , L.A. Times, May 25, 2009)

The loss of a young life is too often the case and there really seems to be another killing just when you think it might end. The criminals that do this need to be off the streets and the city council did have reward authorizations made today in other matters try to apprehend some killers in some very old cases that were especially heinous. In this story, the young athlete, a senior at Narbonne High, was days away from his June 19th graduation.

Sometimes the reward may prompt someone to do the right thing, but retaliation and lack of safety for the informant is always a hindrance to cooperation. Aside from the nature of the perpetrators of the crimes, what people might want to think about is the surrounding situation of these persons. And that does not mean to look for some personal trauma or tragic turn of events that others would find to serve as a reason or even justification for the deadly behavior. No, what I am thinking of here is that such perpetrators have siblings and possibly parents and other extended family who actually are condoning the actions, or giving tacit approval by acquiescience. In some cases, there may be definite support for these kind of actions, with a value system much different from most of us. If that's the case, then you actually have a lot more people that are morally, though not legally, culpable for these crimes.

City Council really needs to work on gang violence, but somehow the idea that they have works with one example being the principle of creating work for gang members in some cases, but then you have a "reward" for bad behavior as the method to put a dent in gang membership, and that doesn't sound right. To simplify the picture, maybe oversimplify it, this is a benefit to those who do bad, but doing good does not provide those non-criminal type individuals with the same city programs or job opportunities, or any such "reward."

The Mayor has a pet project that is referred to as midnight basketball, sort of a distraction for young people who would get into crime if they were not occupied by this alternative distraction. If that's all the program is about, it's of temporary effect, like a "pause" button for the problem and not a cure because when the diversion is over, so then is the "pause." And who would expect anything else if there's nothing built in to the program to actually change behavior to something acceptable.

The people need to be made employable and ideally this idea of doing what is "right" is something that should be seen as a natural thing, not needing a "program' to divert anybody from the path of crime, or some bribe to change their actions. But then in politics, the operation of most things could be seen as cause-and-effect, something given in order to get something back, the old campaing contribution operating like this. But that's a cynical view but stil one that I think is a point of reference for many politicians when it comes to controlling or influencing behavior, and doing "the right thing" is completely irrelevant.

I just am tired of seeing people, young people, killed with so much that they have to live for and possibly, with what may not be a perfect past, but many victims have really shown some good things in their accomplishments, things we like to see, and to have that ended just calls out for some action to end it and punish offenders firmly and decisively, and to deter future crimes. Even if the victims were themselves loaded with gang connections, the idea of the violence, especially the unprovked violence, that immediatley jumps to a deadly level to leave somebody wounded or dead is not acceptable at all.

The original story mentions in the reader comment about "being in wroing place at the wrong time." The people who make these statements when there is a killing are completely wrong. This is a wholly mistaken concept that assumes the victim should not be there where he was when killed. How does that make any sense? "The Wrong Place?" The victim here did nothing illegal or was violating any law in being where he was and eating. Does the statement mean that you have to be only inside your home? Does it mean that Everywhere is dangerous? What ever you say, the "wrong place" is not a valid term. The criminal is the winner if you say otherwise, and you have to stay away from where? Everywhere? It sounds that way if you give up the idea of freedom to such criminals.

And "the wrong time" implies being present at some barred moment in time that costs you your life. That's similarly ridiculous. Everywhere that you can lawfully be IS the right place, and intrusion by a homicidal criminal IS the WRONG thing. It is wrong to try to place any blame on the victims where you have this kind of shooting of an unarmed person, usually as here the outcome following the question and its variations, "Where you from?"

Having any sympathy for the killer(s) is an undeserved act, entirely misplaced. The thought should be, "Who will he kill next?" and "How can he be stopped?" Apprehension of the culprit is a start.