December 5, 2011
The only advantage of feeling like you have no control over your life is that you never have anything to lose. I’ve seen the video footage of 3 young men who on November 28th shot 8 people at the filming of a music video in West Oakland. The most seriously wounded was a 1-year-old boy who was shot in the head. He is currently in critical condition at Children’s Hospital.
A few nights ago on the East side of town there was a shooting involving 3 cars in which no less than 50 rounds of ammunition were dispensed. A man’s head was grazed by a bullet and an 86-year-old woman was cut by shards of broken glass. Thankfully no one was killed but tragically anyone could have been killed. It’s hard for me, even in my most nihilistic of moods, to fathom some people’s disregard for human life. In my mind I see a 19-year-old young man with a pistol in his hand and a hood tied tightly to his head. His only thought is; “Anybody can get it!” From ages 1-86 it really doesn’t matter to him.
Perhaps it’s the thrill of it all or maybe it’s the hopelessness. I can’t be sure. I don’t know what it takes to bust a gun into a crowd of men, women, and children who are only trying to enjoy themselves. It could even be the strongly held belief that your life really isn’t your own. That because you were born in the sewer of society living dirty is all you know. I suppose it could be a variety of reasons but in the end it doesn’t matter.
What matters right now is a 1-year-old boy is fighting for a life that he has barely gotten a chance to enjoy and an 86-year-old woman has been traumatized by automatic gunfire from young men who are probably young enough to be her great-grand children. Nothing is sacred in the ghetto. Not the wisdom of the elderly, the purity of 1-year-old babes, or anything else that may fall in between.