Skip to comments.Focus of [National] Night Out Should Turn Inward
Posted on 08/12/2007 8:59:40 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
Last Tuesday was National Night Out.
Some 35 million people, including lots around here, went out and attended "events," took some sort of symbolic stand.
Over in a beat-up duplex next to Union Cemetery in Milwaukee, in the meantime, a 3-year-old girl found a loaded semiautomatic behind a stove and used it to shoot a 6-year-old boy while the boy's mother was out somewhere herself.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think we need another National Night Out.
National Night Out has been going on for almost a quarter of a century, and we get the point: Take back the neighborhood, which is fine.
How about we start with taking back the home, though, instead?
Or maybe just the bedroom, where the girl shot a 6-year-old playing around with another 6-year-old at 10 p.m.?
"It's despicable. It's sickening," said Mayor Tom Barrett. "A 6-year-old is lying in a hospital bed right now recovering from a gunshot wound he suffered at the hands of a 3-year-old. Why were these kids unattended at 10 at night? How did they have access to a gun, an illegal gun?
"We are talking about children here; children who are in very real, very immediate danger because of illegal guns. If this doesn't compel people to open their eyes to the epidemic of violence caused by illegal guns, I don't know what will."
I guess I've read worse statements. But, personally, I wish he would have stopped halfway through.
Regulation of gun sales on the secondary market wouldn't hurt, but that's not even close to being a cause here.
Police say the gun belonged to a guy with prior cocaine and battery convictions who couldn't legally own it anyway. The gun was already illegal. It could have been 10 times as illegal, and it wouldn't have made a difference.
That boy still would have been shot, and some of the children involved would still have about the same chance of growing up and leading productive lives as they do right now.
The mayor noted during an interview that he raised the issue of "parental responsibility" first, and it's true he did.
"Until parents take responsibility," he also told me, "our impact is limited."
No argument there.
We don't know exactly why the mother of the victim wasn't taking responsibility, by the way. Just like we don't know precisely why an 11-month-old boy was reportedly left alone with head lice and diaper rash in a crib in Howard in Brown County that same day. Or why a mother in West Bend is accused of leaving her LSD-laced SweeTarts out for her daughter to eat not long ago.
Neither the West Bend mom, Donielle Maki, nor Shaniqua Davis, the mom whose son was shot, responded to notes I left on their doors.
But "what I saw in the police report," said Milwaukee Police Department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz, "was that (Davis) had gone for a walk." A walk.
It's nice she felt like she could do that late at night. Nice, too, I guess, that a number of adults who had been inside the home felt like they could flee into the night after the shooting, according to police.
Pretty clearly, though, we don't need another National Night Out.
What we need is a National Night In.
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Are we reading the same article? There’s nothing ‘touchy-feely’ coming from this author that I can see.
He’s holding families accountable for the state of their neighborhoods.
out is in, baby. get with it.
I’ve never heard of “National Night Out”. Is this another one of those ethnic type celebrations?
Sounds like a night where sane folks stay home, just like New Years Eve, AKA: Amateur Night.
“Sounds like a night where sane folks stay home”