Thursday, January 26, 2012

Feeling the need to do something

This morning a man was shot and killed while trying to stop a car jacking. It happened two doors down from where my sister is currently living and her husband heard the shots fired. The first stories coming out described a man with two kids living in the neighborhood and some friends of the family though it might be Andy who was killed. It's one of those events that still sinking in. I still can't read the story without crying a little, especially when it gets to the part about his two children, who he had just walked to the bus stop, coming back to try to help him and being there as he died.

And yet my next reaction is to sweep it under the rug. Coping mechanism I suppose. I say to myself, well don't intervene when stuff like that is happening. But is that really the right thing to think? Doesn't that come a little too close to blaming the victim? But I have to find a way to rationalize it not being able to happen to me. If I thought it could happen to me, would I still be OK living where I live? Or is this just something you have to accept when you live in a place like this? So many open ended questions.

I worry this will cause my sister to move away. It has to affect her. How can it not? I can sit here and say I'd handle it fine if it happened on my block, but would I really? It's horrible to say but I'd be thinking of things a lot differently if the woman had been shot. It just seems so preventable if he just hadn't gotten involved.

"He didn't hold with your father's ideals; he felt he should've stayed here and not gotten involved."

He felt the need to do something. He, like many, was probably fed up with the crime in the city and when that happened, he snapped and had to help. But helping got him killed. Is there a way to help and not have to risk getting killed? Does taking a stand against crime have to risk being knocked down permanently?

I come away from all this feeling like I need to do something as well, but having no idea of what to do.


At 4:57 PM, Blogger Jessamyn said...

That is a horribly tragic story and one where I can see anyone re-evaluating their living situation if it happened so close by. But remember you and Melissa made a conscious effort to move back to New Orleans. You knew it was a city you wanted to live in and raise your children in. You have to take the good with the bad.

I've had this argument with my French brother-in-law many times. He thinks America is so violent and dangerous and full of horrible weather events. And I agree the violence is rampant, but we do the best we can to avoid it our daily lives, we become smart about where and when to go places, and we know that there are great things that happen side by side with the bad.


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