Do you know any six-year-olds?
My son William is six years old.
And William is the most carefree person in the world. He’s kind to everyone he meets. He’s in kindergarten. Watching William walk up to someone on one of our walks and asking them if he can pet their dog is just beautiful. Hearing about his day in kindergarten, about the words that he’s learning to spell. When I come home William is always thrilled to see me. He wants to know if he can come swimming at the pool with me. He knows that my favorite thing to eat in the world is a Tommy’s cheeseburger and he asks me over and over again what my favorite thing to eat is. When I say a Tommy’s cheeseburger he says it’s his favorite thing to eat too. Then William asks me my favorite color. When I say “green,” he says his favorite color is green too.
Do you know a six-year-old? They are the most amazing creatures.
Now imagine that six-year-old that you know and imagine how you’d feel if you learned that a bullet ripped through their head while they were sleeping last night. Does that make you mad? Because it makes me mad. It makes me really mad.
And that’s what happened last night in Oakland on the 8200 block of MacArthur Blvd. A little girl sleeping in her bed had a stray bullet rip through her head. She’s in critical condition.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened in Oakland. Month before last I blogged about another stray bullet that paralyzed a 10-year-old at a music school by my house. It happens all the time in Oakland actually.
Oakland’s gotten so bad that social workers don’t want to go visit the kids that they are supposed to look after anymore.
Chip Johnson over at the Chronicle, who has been doing an excellent job chronicling the violence of Oakland has an interview with an Oakland woman who puts it this way:
“I get my baby around 5:30, and after that, I don’t go out,” she said. “I stopped going to choir rehearsals and Bible study for fear of what I’d find when I came home.
“I’ve had neighbors call to say I couldn’t come home because they’ve been shooting outside and the street is roped off,” she said. “The kids want to ride bikes and play outside, but I have to keep them in the house because I don’t want them getting shot.
“The (security) gate has been broken so many times that (the housing authority) said they wouldn’t fix it again. There’s supposed to be security here, but there’s no security, period.”
But you aren’t even safe in your own home. Even in your own home a stray bullet can come whizzing through the wall hitting your precious little six-year-old girl in the head.
And what is being done about the violence in Oakland. Still largely nothing. Our soft on crime do nothing mayor Ron Dellums refuses to address the issue. While giving lip service to the need for more cops Dellums skirts the more delicate political issue, illegal guns on the streets of Oakland.
Do you know what happens when you’re caught with an illegal gun on the streets of Oakland? Pretty much nothing. Slap on the wrist maybe. Yeah, you’ll get arrested. But not likely much more.
But rather than sound the alarm for the need for harsher prison sentences Dellums blames Bush and hides his head in the sand hoping that the problem will go away.
Dellums needs to declare “War on Guns” in Oakland. We all need to really. We need to insist that people found with illegal guns don’t get a slap on the wrist but that they spend 10 years, 20 years, 30 years or more in jail.
All violence is bad. But violence with a knife generally speaking doesn’t result in stray bullets hitting six-year-olds. This violence has to stop. And until criminals get the message that an illegal gun will send them away for a very very very long time, they will still carry them around being the tough guy gangsters that they are. They’ll show them off to their friends and shoot at the rival drug dealer on their corner and worst of all, they will continue hitting little girls in the head with stray bullets.
The violence is senseless and nobody has the balls to talk about the criminal gun problem or what we ought to be doing about it.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is in a very visible position to address the problem but he does nothing. He campaigns for Hillarious Clinton’s losing campaign as her advisor on Urban Issues or something like that while children are gunned down on the streets of Oakland.
Something must be done. Trust me, you’d want something done if the stray bullet in that gun hit the six-year-old that you know and love. How come we can have a “War on Terror” thousands of miles away, but we can’t have a “War on Guns” when guns are creating real terror right here in our own backyard?