Guns,Guns,and A Few More Guns

By Phineas J. Stone

I’m right down the line with the Boston Police.

I’m tired of the nonsense, the inflammatory behavior of some of our elected officials and our media.

Whether it’s this cartoon situation with the Globe, or discussions that indict every officer in the department and paint with a broad brush, I say it’s time to stop it – at least in Boston, if not other places.

The Boston Police don’t have a great history, I know that. I’ve pounded the pavement of these neighborhoods long enough to know the misdeeds from the past. It was bad, especially in the communities of color and in the poorer neighborhoods – which back then included such luxury addresses in today’s world like the Fenway, South End and Charlestown. Also, I know from observation that sometimes the specialized units in the BPD can be a little forceful with young people, especially in the housing developments in and around our neighborhoods.

I’ve heard all that; I know it all.

But let’s put all this in context.

I hear about social justice and ‘racist cops’ in the daily discussion, and there are young people from the local colleges and universities and from the neighborhoods yelling into bullhorns about the evils of police.

I say this.

You can’t say a word until you’ve spent a week of nights where the bullets fly daily – places like Grove Hall, Dorchester’s Four Corners, O’Day Park, Cathedral, Ramsey Park and any number of other hot spot that are in the part of the city I like to call the State of Lawlessness.

These are the places where gunshots go off and you tell yourself that it’s “just another firecracker.” These are the places where kids play hide-and-seek amongst knuckleheads who are armed with loaded weapons. These are the places where teens don’t play football as much as they play with guns.

The BPDnews blog reported at least nine illegal guns recovered since last Wednesday, Aug. 10, with one in the South End, and there are likely many, many more that didn’t make the blog. There have also been shootings and murders and stabbings in that same period. Who confronted those hoodlums with guns before they killed someone?

The Police.

Lawful residents are put squarely in the middle of this – figuring out if they should sell their properties, which many times are in very expensive neighborhoods, or stick in there and risk being robbed or shot by accident.

Massachusetts doesn’t like to have armed individuals, and I must admit, in our close-quarters city, an armed public is kind of a scary thought. It isn’t Texas after all. So, the only people left to protect those of us in the middle – like Mr. Boston and his friends – are the Boston Police.

Yet everyone from Washington D.C., to the corners of Tremont Street want to badmouth the cops.

I’m with the cops.

What a relief it is to be able to call someone who, when you hear the nightly shoot-em-ups and see a kid who might be packing heat, will respond and confront the situation. There are far more of those situations on the streets of Boston than there are shootings of unarmed people – no matter what race. What happens if the cops don’t come because they’re afraid of having to confront a 16-year-old who has no ethical dilemma with shooting another person dead and then going home and snacking on a Twinkie and playing video games?

I certainly don’t believe the bullhorn-toting loudmouths – who at one time had a point, but now have gone too far – will respond to disarm an adult who is ready to shoot someone after a loud, raucous party in the neighborhood. They won’t be anywhere near.

That’s because they don’t spend any time in the State of Lawlessness, unless it’s to demean the only folks left who are willing to protect us. All of the critics, who I admit have a valid point, don’t live in the places where the bullets fly – the shoot-em-up-villes. Neither do the politicians. They might all hear about it, and that’s great, but live out a night of shots flying and teens wielding guns in the park where the young kids play, and maybe the hardened hearts will soften.

From 10 miles away, where the birds are chirping and kids play Little League in the summer, it’s so easy to poke holes.

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