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?