Violence Begets Violence

I was 13 and was sitting by the window in my parent’s apartment. I walked away and then I heard that sound.

Gunfire.

It has a unmistakable sound, especially when it is followed by screaming.

A young man was shot on the corner of my block, in suburban Yonkers. By no means was it a great area. Often I lived in fear, especially when you had to walk passed a group of people who you just knew wanted to mess with an easy target like me.

Ricky was one of the Park guys. A group of young men who hung out and drank beer together in Sullivan’s Oval, the neighborhood park. He worked and was generally an upstanding citizen. I remember him once trying to teach a developmentally disabled guy to not be afraid of his friend’s large and intimidating Doberman. He was patient and generally wanted to keep the peace amongst neighbors.

Ricky saw two kids fighting over a stickball bat. He stepped in and broke the fight up. Told them to stop it and sent them on their way. That decision cost him his life. The father of one of the boys came out and shot him in cold blood.

He would die later the next day.

Friends thought of how they could plot revenge. The police did their best to calm the neighborhood down. But I was determined at a young age to never get involved with violence. I was tired of seeing people afraid and tired of being afraid.

BustedHalo’s FPG Calendar asks us to

FAST from watching violent movies or television today.

PRAY for those who have lost loved ones to violence.

And GIVE $5 or more to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national bipartisan coalition of mayors working to make America’s communities safer by keeping illegal guns out of dangerous hands.

So today I won’t watch any TV and will pray for Rick and his family and all those effected by violence. I’m on a spending budget so my five dollars will need to wait until another day. But suffice it to say that I support the initiative and will give when I can.

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