At what point did Society “Cross The Line”?

At what point did Society “Cross The Line”?

I’ve been a cop for over 20 years, and I’m sure Jim will agree with me, we’ve all seen crime trends come and go. Burglaries, identity theft, drugs, weapons violations, vehicle thefts, forgery, criminals are always looking for better, faster and less detectable ways of committing crimes. But there’s a new trend that seems to be growing and it has me worried along with most other law enforcement officers. And it should worry you too. What is this trend? Guns in the hands of young people who have no regard for life. There’s always been teens and guns which occasionally mixed but in the past, guns were not used as frequently or with such disregard for life as in today’s society.

Last night there was a local shooting at a 3-yr-olds birthday party. A large family birthday party was going on with people behind a mostly closed garage door and a few scattered on the porch. Two subjects walked up, one with a red hat on, and opened fire spraying the porch and garage with gunfire. In the end, 4 people were shot including a 9-yr-old girl. When these two thugs opened fire, they had NO IDEA where those bullets were going to go. They shot through a partially closed door knowing people were behind the door. They didn’t care a 9-yr-old girl was shot. They wouldn’t have cared if a bullet went through 2 walls killing a sleeping baby in another room. They just don’t care. I’m thinking walking up to a large Hispanic party with a gun and a red hat on was an obvious sign of saying “I’m a Norteno” but hey, I’m just a cop with an opinion. Whether or not they saw someone they were targeting, it doesn’t matter. To endanger kids at a 3-yr-olds birthday party, that’s just insane.

At what point did society “cross the line” to where guns are being pulled out and used by so many young people nowadays? I believe a lot of the kids are de-sensitized by the violence in society today. The violent movies, songs, and especially the video games kids are playing today. The graphics are so realistic that these kids are shooting and stabbing real looking people on their video screens over and over and over, getting de-sensitized to death with each kill. Then they turn the game off, put a gun in their pocket and hit the streets. How do you think these kids are going to react when they get into a confrontation on the street? The same way they did playing the video game; pull a gun out and shoot.

As cops, we train until our tactics become “muscle memory”. At the range or in self defense class, we practice over and over until we react the same way automatically without having to think about it. When the whistle blows at the range, we draw out guns and shoot the target without even thinking about it, we train so much the action becomes automatic, muscle memory. Unfortunately, the youths of today are playing so many violent video games, killing people over and over, they are developing “muscle memory” on how they handle street conflicts; they pull out a gun and shoot.

But in real life there is no re-set button, no on-off switch, no extra lives. It seems the youths of today are confusing video game life with real life. How else can you explain teens opening fire at a kid’s birthday party just because they spotted a possible “rival” gang banger at the house? How do you explain the disregard for human life, for the carnage those bullets cause. This wasn’t a loser parolee pulling a gun to commit a robbery; these were young punks with guns and no sense. They don’t think about what happens if they get caught, the years they’ll have to spend in jail. Or if someone at the party recognized them and later sprays their house with gunfire killing their family or young siblings. Video games don’t have that reality check built in so these young kids don’t think about that.

I sound angry because I am. Why should a 9-yr-old girl have to experience a gunshot wound because someone wants to play gang banger? It’s a miracle no one was killed, that a baby or toddler at the party wasn’t zipped up in a coroner’s bag that night.

There have been several recent high profile incidents of innocent children being shot or killed by stray bullets from idiots shooting at each other. They usually miss each other and hit innocent people, including children. When did society “cross the line” to where people are so de-sensitized that they shoot at each other in front of children or innocent people? De-sensitized to the point where these criminals and young thugs just don’t care if an innocent child gets struck by gunfire? Don’t these people have little brothers or sisters? Trouble is they don’t think of the consequences of their actions and they don’t have a conscience, two very dangerous things for someone with a gun in their hand.

Crime statistics rise and fall with the economy but I’ve seen a seen a huge increase in the number of guns carried by teens and young adults, and the number of shootings. Youths are shooting at each other for wearing the “wrong color”, for looking at each other “the wrong way”, for “disrespecting” them or their family, basically for nothing. It still shocks me to see these people gunned downed in the street because they had a red or blue hat on, or because they looked at someone and it was taken as a “mug”. Not only are today’s kids killing each other, but they are also wounding and killing innocent people.

When did society “cross the line” where the youths of today feel this is the norm, the way to respond to being disrespected, that this is the way to settle differences, that it’s OK to open fire at a kid’s birthday party. Each fired bullet doesn’t have a joystick control, no re-do, each fired bullet is on an unstoppable route with the potential to maim or kill. When did this become OK to today’s kids? Is it the way society presents itself today? Is it piss-poor parenting or lack of parenting? When did society “cross the line” to where this is happening so frequently. We really need to reverse this trend before it happens to you. But it probably won’t be a party at your house bringing the bullets; it will be the large youth party across the street or next door.

It’s a shame in today’s society where youths can’t have a large party without some kind of violence breaking out. When I was young we’d hunt down parties to go have fun at, sneak a beer, not to look for trouble. But most large youth parties nowadays more often than not end up with fights, stabbings or shootings. Neighbors houses struck by gunfire. Violent fights, stabbings, parents asking themselves “what went wrong”. Society is what went wrong. At some point, society gave these kids the idea that violence is cool, killing someone is OK, shooting into a crowded kids birthday party is the norm.

I’m all for gun rights and legal possession of guns, but parolees and kids carrying stolen guns don’t quite fit the term legal. And why do we have laws such as carrying brass knuckles is a felony but carrying a loaded concealed firearm is a misdemeanor? Which weapon really has the potential for more damage? We need to fix things, change laws, make the youths of today fear punishment or consequences.

If we don’t change something fast, this will soon be coming to a neighborhood near you!

Comments (1)

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  1. Jeffrey S. says:

    I read your story and I agree with you. Teens nowadays spend too much time playing kill this,kill that,video games and mimic in real time,whay they acted out onscreen.
    The days such as when I was a young teen of a simple fist fight appear to be somewhere on The History Channel.
    I lived for 7 months in the Dorchester section of Boston,Mass and was constantly looking over my shoulder while waiting for the Orange line to go to work and even while on it.
    It got to the point that I left Boston and moved to Gardner,Mass which seems in some respects to be inheriting some of the criminally minded.
    Olde English Village in Gardner where my 7 yr old daughter had lived until she beat her with her fists and I got her out of there, was notorious for drugs and domestic issue’s. The Gardner P.D has officers there on a regular basis now, attempting to decrim the place.
    Bible prophecy is acting out before our very eyes in that “People will get worse and worse in the endtimes”. And we must keep on trying to change things for the better but also in the same breath,realize,some members of society are acting out Biblical prophecy.
    We need our police officers and the criminally minded need to check into the local jails and get recalibrated to operate in society how they ought to. They need to think before they act,not just operate on impulsivity.
    Stay the course.

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