A few nights ago, Finn and I were asleep. Actually asleep. Like, so asleep, that we did not wake up for the screaming OR the gunshots.
Pete had to tell us about it in the morning.
Well, he told me.
Finn's not always so good at The Listening.
Turns out, a 14-year-old kid was shot at the corner store half a block from our house. He was attempting to break in with a hammer. Someone saw him and called the cops. When they showed up, the kid threw the hammer at one of the cops, hitting him in the stomach. The cop shot him in the abdomen. The kid ran away. They caught him. He's going to be OK.
My first reaction was "Oh man, I wonder if the family was having money trouble, and the kid was trying to 'help.'"
That afternoon, Finn and I walked past the store on our way to the library, and talked to the reporter who was there. He helped me get Finn's baseball cap on, as Finn was in the backpack, and it's hard to do by myself. (Finn took the hat off again immediately.) The reporter said that they had interviewed the mother, who is 7 months pregnant, and she confirmed my suspicions.
Everyone who works in the store is pleasant. It sucks, though, that this kid went from being a nice boy to a felon.
We live in a good neighborhood, so I don't feel unsafe at all. The only problem we ever really have in our area is dumb, white, Methodist college students making too much noise and peeing in our garden. I think that perhaps the cops may have over-reacted, but, hey, I was not there, and it's easy to say that when I was not the one in the stressful situation.
This would be a good story for one of those "How has the recession affected you?" radio call-in shows. Give people some perspective.