“Gun Violence Overnight…”

That’s one of the media’s favorite headlines.  The old adage “if it bleeds, it leads” is absolutely accurate.  Humanity’s capacity to both harm each other and feed off of the misfortune of others knows nearly no bounds.

As I was watching the news this morning (something I don’t often do because, quite frankly, I can’t stand the lousy and biased reporting by folks who don’t know a lot about what they are reporting), I heard about a violent night in a local town.  The news reported that first responders were busy from the late hours of the evening to the wee hours of the morning.

You know what I couldn’t help but think?  You know who (more often than not and excusing the occasional stray that goes through a house and hits a four-year-old) doesn’t get shot in the middle of the night?

People at home in their freaking beds sleeping.

You know where my kids were last night at 0200?  In their beds asleep.  Because they’re f’n children and it’s the middle of the damn night.  I realize it’s always sad when an innocent child is hurt or killed by any kind of violence.  But, I can’t help but wonder what in the hell a toddler is doing up at 0100 at the filming of a rap video.

That doesn’t mean the poor kid deserves anything bad to happen and I’m terribly sad for the parents.  At the same time, I can’t help but question the decision-making abilities (or more likely the lack thereof) of the those same parents.

Cold hearted?  Perhaps.  Believe me when I say I am not a perfect dad, but I can guarantee that you won’t find my kids up at 0100 in the streets where violence is rampant and practically a nightly occurrence.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  If bad parenting were illegal, I’d be taking all kinds of folks to prison.  Not jail, mind you.  Right to prison.  In my perfect dream world, the justice system would be much more streamlined.

Kids aside, let’s talk about adults.  Who is out on the streets in the middle of the night?  In my experience and in my humble opinion as a police officer, there are two categories of people out and about (more often than not) in the middle of the night: Cops and Crooks.

Now, I’m not talking about people who get up early and drive dozens of miles to be at work on time.  I’m talking about folks straight roaming the streets.  There is practically no reason for a law-abiding citizen to be skulking about a neighborhood at 0300.  The last time I was up past midnight walking the streets was when the Wife was in labor and we went for a walk to help get things a-movin’.  Know what, though?  I don’t live in The ‘Hood.  I mean, I live in a ‘hood, but not The ‘Hood.

I’m sure there are some of you that will comment about how you love to go for crisp walks at four in the bloody morning for some ridiculous reason…and that’s just hunky dory.  Just don’t be surprised when Johnny Law rolls up and wants to chat.

The bottom line, and again in my humble opinion, is that well-adjusted, law-abiding folks are by and large sawing logs in the middle of the night…or at least inside their homes.  You know, where gun violence is less likely.

What about you?  If you have kids, do you let them roam the streets at all hours?  And if so, can you please include your address so when my perfect utopia comes to fruition I can come take you to prison?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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33 thoughts on ““Gun Violence Overnight…”

  1. Out roaming the streets? Hell no! My 6 year old twins and my 3 year old son are asleep by 8 pm- or at least in bed. They are not outside playing and they are not even out at the grocery store. One of the things that bothers me most is when my husband & I get a sitter and go out at night and we go to the store- grocery, Target, where ever- and see people out with their young kids way past 9 or 10 pm. (Yes- we sometimes stop at the store on date night. Sometimes part of being a parent is doing things when ever they need done & you can do them.) Those little children should be in bed because a) if it’s a toddler they need more sleep than people realize or b) if they are school age they need lots of sleep to be alert for school. Not only that but you know who likes to drive around more at night than during the day? Drunk drivers. So putting kids to bed at a decent time can not only save them from bullets but also the drunk driver that is making his way home after a few hours at the bar after a “hard day” at work. And the kids will be happier and healthier for the extra sleep.

  2. “In my perfect dream world, the justice system would be much more streamlined.”

    Scary.

    Anyways, I’m in complete agreement with you when it comes to children. But there are plenty of reasons to be out at 2, 3 in the morning (“nightlife,” after all, is ot a crime) when you’re in those years between childhood and old age. Anyways, a cop who asks me what’s going on just cause I’m out late is probably going to get a polite “good evening officer” before I walk past him, unless I happen to be in a sociable mood.

    • In most places, there are few reasons to be out that late, but there are exceptions. “Nightlife” is just fine…but that usually occurs on the weekends, not at 0300 in a residential neighborhood.

      • Well yeah, limiting it to the middle of the week changes things a bit. But I’m not sure how being in a residential neighborhood changes things. Often parties are at homes. Even if they’re not, you have to get back to your home afterwards.

        Of course things depend on the neighborhood and the area. But the idea of a presumption that people (or even “kids,” broadly understood) are up to no good just because they’re out late is troubling.

        • It is our duty to be out at that time of night in Contacting people in those circumstances. contacting those people leads to us conducting an investigation into whether or not they have a legitimate purpose to be doing what they’re doing. Those contacts lead us to what is called experience. That experience lead us to what you call presumptions. Are my presumptions wrong? Often, yes. But just as often they are confirmed. And when they are, you are left at home sleeping soundly alongside your children. So are we upset with your concern about our presumptions? No. I for one am quite content with them. Because that’s the way they have to be

        • When my presumptions are found to be fruitlees, I am happy to be reaffirmed in my overall belief in the general goodness and innocence in most people. When my presumptions are correct it reaffirms my faith in God’s plan for my life.

          Side note … please forgive my grammar and punctation. My thoughts formed at the end of a shift; and they were were recorded via speech-to-text.

  3. I am reminded of an incident about 20 years ago or so (and NOW I’m feeling kind of old, thanks). Hubby’s younger brother was going to Prom and wanted an extension on his midnight curfew. When his parents balked, he turned to us…thinking we’d support him in this. I said the first thing that came to mind, “I can’t think of a single LEGAL thing for a 17-year-old boy to do after midnight in this town.”

    I will confess, however, that we did take our kids to an all-night filming of a zombie movie in a town near us. Hubby was a zombie (I made his costume…complete with trailing entrails), and it was tons of fun. It was also in a sleepy little NC town, which is why it was possible to shut down the entire length of Main Street. If they’d been filming in the nearest city (Raleigh or Greensboro or Winston-Salem), hubby would have been on his own and the kids and I would have stayed home.

    • “I can’t think of a single LEGAL thing for a 17-year-old boy to do after midnight in this town.”

      I don’t know where you live, obviously. But I can think of plenty of legal things to do after midnight, even in my relatively small hometown. Assuming, of course, that we don’t count as ‘criminal’ the mere act of being 17 and out late, as some towns are prone to do.

      • Hmmm really? You must live in an awesome little place where everyone knows everyone, and the town just feeds entertainment out to 17 year olds!

        I live in a town with about 60,000, and apart from maybe a movie finishing late at the cinema, there is nothing going on for 17 year olds. Heck, ask any “kid” what they have to do and they’ll usually say “nuffin’, I’m bored”.

        Andrew, you seem to be hellbent to prove the blogger wrong, and whilst your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, it doesn’t make you right. I think you’ve got the post totally wrong! I have policed in small sleepy hollows through to large cities, and by and large (that doesn’t mean all of the time) I can’t see any reason for a 17 year old to be roaming around at 2 or 3am either in town, around a neighbourhood, in a park, or anywhere. Yes, they could be walking home from a party, to/from work, yes they could have been burning the midnight oil studying with friends, and yes. They could even be returning home from performing a naked skydive tribute act a few hours drive away. 17 or 70, it’s not normal to be wandering around at that time of night!

        I would love you to quantify what amazing activities are on offer for a 17 year old male at 3am (and I am not accepting ‘chilling with muh mates’ as an answer). If we are talking about midweek, you should be in bed ready for school the next day. If you’re not at school, get a job. If you have one, unless it’s anti-social hours (you’d be restricted to finishing at midnight here at least) get some sleep.

        I always have a great moral compass. It’s called Grandma. When asked what I think about what swearing is acceptable, when the kids should be in bed or what not, I always think “what would my Grandma say is acceptable”. Give it 15% either way, and you’ll be pretty much on the mark!

        Sure, go bash the copper with your words. When you have seen what I have seen, and see the real world we desperately try to keep average Joe from never seeing. Whilst these are UK based, if you can be bothered to get off your soapbox maybe you can appreciate more of what we have to put up with, and realise it’s not them and us….

        Oh, and to show we have a sense of humour….

        Finally to motorcopblog, a poem for you:
        http://www.policepoems.com/FinalInspection.htm

          • This is another one of my favourites, I’m guessing it’s done the rounds over there also. My last set comprised of a murder, a cot death, a rape, and a mentally unstable person who needed detaining to prevent suicide. Mix it up with the usual drunks and trouble on the streets, it’s “business as normal”. I’ve become cynical and reluctant to trust, but I carry on doing it so someone else doesn’t have to. Luckily we don’t have the prevalent gun issues that you have, but nothing fills the body with dread more than a shout for officer needing urgent assistance….

            I’m Just Like You
            author unknown

            I have been where you fear to be;
            I have seen what you fear to see;
            I have done what you fear to do;
            All these things I have done for you.

            I am the one you lean upon,
            The one you cast your scorn upon,
            The one you bring your troubles to,
            All these things I have been for you.

            The one you ask to stand apart,
            The one you feel should have no heart,
            The one you call the “man in blue”;
            But I am a person, just like you.

            And through the years,
            I have come to see
            That I am not what you ask of me.
            So take this badge, take this gun;
            Will you take it? – Will anyone?

            And when you watch a person die
            And hear a battered baby cry,
            Then do you think that you can be
            All these things you ask of me?

        • On the contrary, I’m not “hellbent to prove the blogger wrong.” In fact, as I originally said, I’m largely in agreement with MC when it comes to young children, and the comment you’re responding to is by someone else. Regardless, if I disagree with something I’ll say so, but I don’t have it out for anyone in particular.

          “I would love you to quantify what amazing activities are on offer for a 17 year old male at 3am (and I am not accepting ‘chilling with muh mates’ as an answer).”

          The fact that you won’t accept something doesn’t mean it’s not a reasonable answer. Hanging out (under which I include a broad range of legal activities) with friends is indeed something that teenagers do. And, for various reasons (social, biological, schedules, etc) it often occurs at night.

          But anyways, let me describe some of the circumstances in which I was out late, growing up in a town of about 100,000. (I realize that may not seem “relatively small” to some people, but compared to my new home — Chicago — it’s tiny.) Maybe they’re not “amazing activities” under your definition, but like most normal people I led a rather ordinary life. Something didn’t have to be thrilling to be enjoyable.

          I’ll start with the ones you already listed, since they’re emminently reasonable:

          * walking home from a party
          * to/from work
          * burning the midnight oil studying with friends

          I’d add that there was a downtown movie theater that would often show classic movies at midnight, getting out around 2 or so (and, of course, the occasional midnight premier at the bigger theaters, though due to distances that would likely be a driving rather than walking affair.) Around the 4th of July, there would be an evening/into the night fireworks display at the park two blocks from my house, after which teens would continue to hang out with sparklers and the like. Other summer evenings often featured walking a few blocks to the DQ and then hanging out in the park, or occasionally games of capture-the-flag/etc. The night after a high-school dance featured a trip to play late-night laser tag in fancy closed (surprisingly fun, actually) before going to a friend’s house. On weekends, I’d sometimes crash at a friend’s house and we’d make a 2 am run to the store for caffeine or pizza. There was a summer festival in our town, which would usually officialy end around midnight, but that’d be followed up by more hanging out in that area (downtown/the college campus) before dispersing home.

          On weeknights, of course, my parents were stricter about a curfew. Probably wisely, since I have terrible sleep habits. But they loosened up a bit in my last year or so in high school. If there was an issue with staying out late, it was sleep deprivation in school the next day (definitely a bit of an issue for me, but I’ve done alright and learned – kinda – from the mistake :)) not the kind of issues MC is raising.

          Honestly, I was probably out late a lot less than many of my peers, and more than others. My main point, in response to NC Narrator, is that teens are different from children, and the presumption that a teen out late must be breaking the law is seriously flawed.

          • Andrew, thankyou for taking the time to reply.

            The reason why I refuse to accept chilling out with friends as an answer was explained with the whole school and work thing. Even on a weekend, I wouldn’t want my kids hanging out on the streets at 3am, and by hanging out I mean just bumming around rather than walking to/from an event. I fully appreciate it’s what teens do, but 3am?

            Movies. Yup, that’s cool, it’s not every night though. 4th July, bonfire night, and other seasonal events again would be generally excluded from the usual rants, but over here in good ole’ Blighty they don’t go on til 3am. After 11pm any fireworks being set off are illegal, and I’d suggest them being fired at 3am is irresponsible at the very least, moving up anywhere to criminal. Again I am sure you are just suggesting the party atmosphere, but I’d still state 3am for a 17 year old, inebriated or otherwise, just isn’t cricket :p

            I think the crux of the matter is we both agree there are times you’d be out late, but by and large they are exceptional rather than the norm. In addition there is a difference to literally sitting around and walking home.

            Finally, if I were to stop-check every 17 year old out at 3am in my town, I’d suggest a pretty high rate of finding something criminal, and sadly I often do. Anything from breaking a curfew to possession of a controlled drug, and sadly sometimes possessing prohibited articles such as bladed, pointed, or adapted weapons.

            If I were to make a sweeping statement it would be that good kids aren’t bumming around at 3am on the streets *as a normal practice*. You may feel the logic is flawed, but that is because you have your head screwed on and are intelligent enough to write a coherent reply. Sadly the vast majority of those the Police do stop are not of the same vein or upbringing.

            Sadly so many people look upon the police with such scorn, especially when ‘harassing’ youngsters. The hardest part of this job is being a policeman, a social worker, a first aider, a support worker, and so much more. All of this whilst being judged by those you try hardest to protect. So forgive me if I seem unwilling to fully bend to how you think, as you are fortunate enough not to have had a sad life where you need to be on the streets at 3am, and have not had to pick up the pieces from some of the trouble they have caused.

          • In the US you have probable cause, in the UK I cannot do a voluntary search. There has to be reasonable suspicion, either through the persons previous activities on record, a smell of drugs, or sat around an area where you can see items used for drug taking. As the people out at stupid o’clock are typically well known to us it may be sufficient information for a search, or may just be an indication of potential warning markers. Not everyone the police stop are searched! There has to be a reasonable suspicion beyond them just being out late or having been caught before.

            Even with this, there’s “the policeman’s nose”, intuition, and tell signs that would make an officer stop for 1 youth and not another. Because of this “we” are right probably 90% of the time, of which half of those have no action taken due to insufficient evidence. The crime is not doing the act, it’s getting caught.

  4. I remember staying up to watch the tonight show during summer break was a big deal. I don’t think I ever saw midnight until the college years.

    When I was working the graveyard shift at a hospital, I refused to go out to grab a snack at the 7-11 because there was a people out there just standing there…doing nothing…

    I also avoid being on the road from 12am-4am because of the drunk/sleep drivers out there.

  5. My parents have let me do whatever I want since I was 16 (almost 19 now). And when you give a teenager that much freedom, well, I did whatever I wanted. Most weekends I showed up home, at minimum, 2 a.m. Sometimes after sunrise.

    The kicker? I am a female, I was often alone, and oh yeah, my parents are both cops.

    The fact that nothing bad has ever happened to me (save a little trouble with the police) is a true miracle of God. I actually had a police officer tell me he was sure that I would not make it to my 18th birthday. Looking back (I make it seem like it was so long ago..), I really cannot believe that parents who have seen so much tragedy between them would allow their young daughter to get away with so much.

    Luckily, I turned out pretty fine. 4.0 GPA, never tried drugs or alcohol, going to college, and working. But honestly, you are right. Only cops and crooks are out, I was the minority in being neither. I had a couple close calls, but nothing bad ever happened. Truly, truly a miracle.

  6. Every so often I’ll have a few nights when insomnia shows up. In the past I’ve passed the time by walking the two miles down to the park on the riverfront. Nice neighborhood with minimal crime most of the way and a little collection of pubs and shops the last block. It’s a nice walk in almost any weather. Now I did think ahead far enough to realize that a solitary male in a hoody walking past some higher priced homes was likely to attract the notice of any passing black and white so I came up with a few SOPs. If a cruiser slows or passes and turns around I’ll stop under whatever streetlight is closest. I rarely flip my hood up (I prefer my peripheral vision) but if it’s up I lower it. Both are intended to make sure the officer can see what he’s walking up on. Your brothers and sisters can be a might tense in the wee hours. The other thing is when I’m out walking late I keep my driver’s license and concealed carry permit clipped inside the neck of my hoody. Even if they’ve asked for ID officers seem wary of a person reaching down and back toward their hip pocket. Funny that. Reaching for my own neck and flipping the cards out seems to put them more at ease. So far I’ve been “stopped” twice. Different cop each time but same general area down near the river. Based on that I’ve changed my route a little. Both officers were polite and only became more so when they glanced over my IDs.

    And wandering through my neighborhood at unusual times has let me see some interesting things. The deer grazing in the elementary school’s soccer field for one. The barred owls that live a few blocks over nailing some sort of squeeky critter in my own front yard for another. There’s a lot going on out there.

    BGM

  7. Well put sir. I would like to officially apply for a position in your little private Idaho… “Vice” can either be in my title or job description. Your choice. I am Duane and I approve this message. See? I think this could work!!

    P.S. Music Mondays have inspired me… I refer you to the web site I just filled in for this post. That is all.

  8. I work for a church in a bad part of my town. During the summer we attempted to host a drive-in style family movie night. I finally put a stop to it because parents would let their kids come and then walk home by themselves when the movie ended around 10 or 10:30 p.m. There was also a recent case where a toddler was found roaming the streets at 4 a.m. and the parents were found drunk and locked in a bedroom. The mother then had the nerve to come over to the church to tell me that the police were unfair and called CPS on them.

  9. I seem to recall most of my high-school felonious shenanigans (often accompanied by a future Motorcop, ahem) were at about 0100. Its a miracle we never got shot. We would have probably deserved it 😉

  10. About once a month I’m out after midnight when my social security payment finally shows up in direct deposit. I walk about 3 blocks to the 7-11/Circle K because by then I’ve been broke for ten days and out of food. Neighborhood’s not the best, but not the worst either. Never been stopped,though sometimes see cruisers rushing by in a big hurry on silent without emergency lights. Once in a while see an officer down there either on a break or working security for the store. Can’t remember hearing gunshots around here in the past 6 years, though one part of town I lived in it was regular event, especially on holidays. Glad to be away from that.

    • And in reconsidering my comment, can an officer ever really be “on a break”? Seems like the brain would be wired into alert mode 24 hours a day.

  11. Over here my city has an area of mixed reputation called Northbridge. During the day it seems as good or bad as anywhere else but at night trouble often comes out to play. I can’t say I have had much experience with Northbridge as 1) I’m a homebody and like the comfort of my own home and 2) I am put off by it’s reputation. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve been to Northbridge at night and even then it has never been late late just late. (makes sense to me)
    A few years ago a curfew on unaccompanied children was brought in with mixed results depending on who you listen to. Kids are picked up, taken off the streets and their parents are contacted. The frightening thing is how young some of these kids are with some not even in their teens. Most parents claim they don’t know the whereabouts of their children and it seems they can’t be bothered by the whole child/parent thing. Their kids seem more an inconvenience than a responsibility and that’s the saddest statement of all.
    I fully agree with what you have to say. You hear on the news about some 16 year old being assaulted at 2 or 3 in the morning. He may be the victim but what was he doing out at that time. No one seems to ask that question.

    Below are some links regarding the Northbridge curfew.
    http://www.righttrack.wa.gov.au/ArticleDetailsPage/tabid/127/ArticleID/77/Northbridge-Curfew.aspx
    http://www.youthlegalserviceinc.com.au/factsheets/NorthbridgeCurfew.pdf
    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/7602604/northbridge-crime-dips-as-fewer-kids-roam-streets/

  12. “I can’t stand the lousy and biased reporting by folks who don’t know a lot about what they are reporting”

    Wow, talk about a sweeping broad-brush and cliched generalization without a shred of substantiation.

    That ranks right up there with another popular generalization: “all traffic cops are lazy and just go after the easy tickets to make their quotas.”

    How do you know what someone else knows, unless you’re psychic, particularly when you don’t even know and have never met the journalist in question? Do you administer standard knowledge tests to journalists?

    Considering you can’t read other people’s minds, one must therefore consider with a minuscule grain of salt your sweeping fiat about the media.

    And by the way, in light all the time you must spend reading journalists’ minds, you may want to try and absorb some syntax and punctuation basics while you’re rummaging around in random synapses of the Fourth Estate: I spotted six elementary usage and punctuation mistakes in your rather purple and affected prose within just a few minutes of reading.

    • When you’re as busy as I am writing tickets, “lazy” isn’t something I’m of which I am accused.

      Secondly, when you have experienced first-hand and repeated failures of the media with regard to things you know quite a little bit, it is easier to make those generalizations. And I acknowledge the generalization, but I disagree with the “shred of substantiation”. I will also acknowledge that the media isn’t privy to a number of issues because of the nature of the story (cases still under investigation). The issue becomes bothersome when the conjecture begins to fly under the flag of journalism.

      Hell, the traffic cops in your area might be lazy and the media may be a crack squad. Ain’t the case here.

      And lastly, I’m not overly concerned with syntax. I do find it interesting that you took issue with my punctuation and not the overall theme of the post.

      • Leave it to a journalist to ignore the painfully obvious issue. Lord knows a “good” one should be ashamed to ever let an opportunity to redirect negative attention towards a peace officer.
        -incoming generalization-
        Most of the motoring public consist of poor drivers (considering teenagers, drunkards, blue hairs, road ragers, unlicensed, distracted, and habitual careless drivers). When we (traffic cops) hit the road, ALL the tickets are easy; because ALL OF YOU (almost…) drive with your head up your hind end. Also there are no quotas…we can write as many as we want. 🙂

  13. One of the few times I went out ‘roaming’ the streets in the wee hours was when I had to take the dog for a walk before we got noise complaints. That’s also the only time I’ve felt safe walking alone at night. By choice I would never be out that late alone. NZ is a little different, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘quiet, safe’ neighbourhood or town. We might not have the magnitude of guns, but that hasn’t stopped the violence, rape, theft etc. Opportunists for crime are everywhere.

  14. Alrhough I completely agree with you that there is pretty much no reason (or very little reason) for any reasonable person to be out that late and that children should be safely tucked in their beds happily snoring away. I have to go off on a tangent about Kristina’s comment, it was something that I never really thought about until I had to watch my sister’s 4 (yep 4 – ages 2-8) kids by my lonesome for over a month – I still had to work during the day (12 hour shifts mind you), and cook and clean and do homework with them and bath time and bed time and a million other things that need to be done with kids. And it was then that I found myself understanding why a single mom would drag her 2 year old to the grocery store at 2200 or 2300, or why the mom would drag same sick 2 year old to the store at 0300 to buy medicine because there is no one she can leave the child with and she’s being a good parent by not leaving this child alone at home. Often times those people that have both parents in the house (who are home most every night) don’t truly get it why someone would do that but if all those stay at home moms had to work full time and still do all the things that they do around the house and with the kids they wouldn’t be so quick to judge! Just my 2 cents.

    And in regards to me I had no rules growing up, as long as I was “in” bed before parents got up for work everything was hunky dory and I turned out quite alright, almost had a 4.0 in high school (my chem and bio teachers hated me – chem teacher bc I always found shortcuts to whatever experiment we were doing and bio teacher cuz I loved to argue with her on the finer points of everything), have had a job or a few jobs at once since I was 16, am in college (part time now) and living on my own paying all my own bills – not that I will ever allow my kids to do half the stuff that my parents let me, different time (making myself sound way older than I actually am) and different culture. Now as an adult (and an EMT) I truly understand the saying ‘nothing good ever happens after midnight’ I just thank God for watching out for me all these years when I could have gotten into so much trouble.

  15. I remember one distinct night in Concord CA when I was almost busted for being out past curfew. I was 16, and I was walking with an 18 year old friend to a store so he could buy cigarettes. We had been at a friends house where a group of us were spending the night, and aside from just being out past curfew, I was neither doing nor intending to do anything illegal. Just walking to the store. There are stores open 24 hours where you live, are there not? We did not have a car, and even if we had, it would have seemed ridiculous to drive 2 blocks to the store.

    Also, keep in mind that many young people these days entertain themselves simply by being with other young people. They do not need a store to be open or a defined activity. They are simply talking, laughing, and enjoying each others’ company. I do not see any reason why they can’t do that at 0300 just as innocently as they can at 1500. The only reason they end up breaking laws half the time is the laws are designed to prevent them from doing these same activities at 0300 instead of 1500, such as hanging out at a nearby park.

    I also remember, this time in Antioch, a friend who lived across the street from the park. Aside from some of us (though all of age) being a little tipsy, we were not engaged nor attempting to engage in any illegal activicties, other than the aforementioned law declaring the park closed at 2300. We did not bring our drinks with us, and even if we had, there were no children around to be at risk from it. You claim to want to believe the best of people, but the very laws you uphold suggest that you can’t fathom we would have no other aim than to swing on the playground and talk to each other at that hour.