Sunday, March 18, 2012

So Basic, Even (Fire) Frank Straub Gets It

I felt a little sorry for the man, live on Teh Tube Sunday ayem. See, there was a multiple shooting last night: Along the Central Canal downtown, about 10:00 p.m., five teenagers were wounded by six shots fired by (allegedly) another teen, who jumped out of a car.

All are expected to recover, despite the rounds having a caliber starting with "4," they having had the luck to get shot across from a firehouse and while IMPD was making St. Paddy's Day rounds not too far away. And the police are saying the shooter is "someone connected to the victims," sur-prise.

Anyway, Fire Frank Straub was there on TV, lookin' distinctly uncomfortable, trying to explain how come Such Things Can Happen. Even he started with the basic problem: unsupervised teens wandering around the park-ish canal unsupervised, late at night, and other kids who think it is okay-fine to pop a cap into 'em. It's not impossible to do a drive-up shooting on a high-schooler home and snug abed, but it takes a helluva lot more effort. Kids/young adults rammycacking around at loose ends is already trouble looking for an outlet -- and you are probably not gonna stop it with a harsh curfew or (as a commenter at the news site suggested) deploying the National Guard (!).

Natcherly, he had to add, "If you're an adult and you want to have a gun at home, you have an obligation to secure it."

A moral obligation, I'd think, but let's be realistic: little Jimmy knows how to get into the liquor cabinet, he knows where the spare car keys are and if he wants to take your Benelli or Lorcin, he's gonna, come hell, high water or fireproof steel. You'd better start well back from there, at basics like "why we don't go shoot people at whom we are peeved," and "stay the hell outta other people's things, especially when they are your parents'." (Also, who thinks grabbing the home handgun is the only way young choirboys lay hold of guns? 'Cos it so very isn't.)

I don't know if that lack of parenting is lost on Fire Frank or not; he'd moved on to explaining his department's shrinking but still staggeringly-large budget and how we were not going to see as large a shortfall in basic cop-type cops as one might think, which made for even more squirming-under-bright-lights action.

Yes, I almost felt sorry for him. Rumor has it the poor guy's already had to endure the awkwardness of a major office redecoration -- which we are not to price in, say, laid-off officers. Oh, shucky-darn no.

Meantime, at the Indy 1500 yesterday (yes, that hotbed of G-U-N-S), I saw a pretty wide demographic cross-section of teen-agers, mostly with adult supervision. I suspect most of them had spent enough time on their feet, in heavy crowds, that by ten o'clock, they were out like lights. And nobody got shot at all. Hunh.

And I've got to wonder how the inner-city Scout troops are doing these days.

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