If only Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King knew that the streets (and schools for that matter) named after them by majority would have turned out to be cesspools of violence and ignorance. Perhaps they would have opted to lend their names to police stations – just to cut out the middle man.
The recent story is that of a 79-year old man who was shot and killed during a shoot-out involving three other unidentified men on Marcus Garvey Blvd. He was innocently sitting in front of the barber shop when bullets began flying and his life ended. This happened literally about a block and a half from my doorstop, on the street I’ve told my husband several times that I refuse to walk down (even though our laundry mat sits stubbornly in the middle of said block). I came home the other day to a barrage of sirens, helicopters and cops swarming my street and a blockade re-directing traffic down Putnam avenue. Saalik sat focused on his Mac when I walked in the door and told him what happened. “Well, now you have something to write about…”
Well, not really. I mean, maybe I could become an advocate for the personal use of body armor. Especially since I unknowingly walked through an open crime scene 20 minutes after a murder took place while police were still in a scramble to chase down the assailants. Maybe I could wear a tee-shirt marked with the shocking murder statistics for BedStuy – a whopping 60 shootings in my area alone this year, 95% of which resulted in death. I’m sure that would make an impact. *sarcasm*
I remember when I lived in Houston I got into an argument with a woman about gun possession (a popular topic in that area). She said it’s every citizen’s right to defend themselves. This was someone who never lived in a low-income area, never experienced a shooting, never lost a friend to gun fire (part from war) and had no idea what the real face of violence looked like. I told her with a straight face – “Guns are legal because they’re a loose form of population control. Not to protect your silly nick-nacks.”
Guns are legal because they justify war, they justify a legal system and a correctional system. Guns are legal because back in the day – when war was at your front step instead of over seas, protecting your family took on a different meaning. Today that’s just not relevent. The ONLY thing gun-owners are protecting themselves from is other guns – now what sense does that make?
Aside from owning our own conscious behavior the only other option for action is to make some noise. We can tell our local officials that we’re upset, that we want effective change. We can believe (though difficult) that this will make an impact.
Click Here to tell your local officials that you want gun violence to stop, and that you want tougher laws against violators. Send them a note, send them a picture of someone you’ve lost. Tell them that their laziness makes them responsable.