Opportunity Knocks

A fourteen year old kid opens his door when he hears a knock and gets shot in the chest. Dead. A twenty-one year old girl sits it the passenger seat of her boyfriends car, and gets shot to death by the people gunning for her boyfriend. A sixteen year old kid gets shot in the head by somebody who "just fired his gun in the air."

Great week in Providence.

Guns don't kill people. The animals that look like humans and  pollute my city with hate, stupidity and complete disregard for anything or anybody but themselves kill people.

Gangs. They come from rival gangs. I could almost understand these gangs if we lived in Mexico where drug cartels pose a real threat, or this was prison, or if true poverty and desperate living conditions existed, and these really were "The Mean Streets of Providence," but it isn't Mexico, it isn't Prison and the only desperation that exists on the streets of Providence is the desperate need to avoid work and education, and take the easy route and sell crack, Oxy's and heroin to addicts.

Opportunity abounds in the inner city. Unemployment in Providence far surpasses the rest of the state not because there are no jobs, rather because the culture among the "gangs" and the "unemployed" views honest work with contempt, and employers who have the audacity to offer minimum wage for entry level employment seen as people taking advantage of the underprivileged.

Kids working at Dunkin Donuts, or at the hospitals, or stores, or summer jobs with the city manage to find value in work, and see that their meager earnings are a starting point, and envision a future that includes school, work, family and satisfaction from a life well lived. Kids dealing drugs knock on a door  and kill a fourteen year boy who wanted nothing to do with the life that his brother chose.

And the brother loads his gun, and waits.


  • Paul says:

    You have made excellent points, better than I could myself.  But the issues extend upward (parents) as well as sideways (neighbors, community).  There is no sin in being poor, there is no self fulfilling prophecy.  As a first generation American of hard working legal immigrant stock, I grew up as one of the "poor" in Pawtucket and  Central Falls.  But my family saw hard work and education as not just a way up but also something worth of pride.  They saw crime, system abuse (i.e. welfare fraud), handouts and lazyness as something beneath them and they would rather go without that take the easy way out.
    Those values were extended to me and I never even thought of a "career" selling drugs, boosting cars or exploiting the system.  Havings said that, the "well intentioned" have created a system that rewards idleness and acceptance of handouts while punishing hard work and education.  Whether it's through taxation, the perception of exploiting the "working class" or just the neighborhood stigma of being a "sucka", it just makes no sense to stick to school and work at the local burger place when you can stay home (housing assitance, heat assistance) eating crap (food assitance) while running drugs, guns or stealing/selling goods.  After all, those are cash businesses with no questions and no taxes.
    Next thing you know, a so called "innocent bystander" (girlfriend of a thug=not innocent bystander) catches a bullet and we're reminded of how the poor classes remain downdtrodden, how it's all about racism, how it's the banks/rich/unions/state/feds/whatever fault and that we should give EVEN MORE assiastance, so on and so on.
    One last point: those mexican gangs you allude to a VERY alive and VERY well in the US posing a VERY real threat and committing VERY real crimes.  They are much more powerdful here than most people realize and let's not even get started on MS-13.

  • Col. Jack Staples says:

    Michael and Paul,

    Thank you.

  • Pat Blackman/Grandma Muggle says:

    My mother said to me "Patty, work so well that you  never have to be ashamed to stick your hand out for your pay check."  I was always proud of my work ethic.  Problem is, mom's don't often say that anymore.  Mary O'Donnell Conway always spoke in platitudes.  Short and to the point.  "People shoud be made to sign their work so that they will do their job in an excellent manner and as a result not be ashamed when people see that name."  "Even after I am long gone remember not to shame me with your conduct."  "Never take the easy way out because easy in never better in the long run."  "Evil gains destroy your soul so earn your keep in an honorable manner." 
    What we need is parents like her back again.  So many of them just don't give a damn.  We also need politicians who don't give out handouts right and left and Enforceable laws which punish the guilty with more than a wrist slap!
    The most horrible punishment she could give her kids was to tell them that they had disappointed her.  Good God I'd rather have taken a bullet than hear those words.  As a result, I do not have a police record.  Not even a parking ticket.  I do vouluteer work because mom said "Give a helping hand whenever you are able to and you will be rewarded in Heaven." Strangely, after a while of "helpling hands" the reward was just in the good feeling I got from doing it.  "Learn all you can wherever and whenever you can to make yourself a better person and to more self sufficient for , in the great scheme of things, the only person you can count on is yourself.  Even those who love you might not be able to help when help is needed no matter how much they might want to.  So you must prepare  yourself for the worst and hope for the best.  Mom was a keeper and wanted all of her kids to be keepers as well.
    How sad that there are not more like her in the city of Providence today.  Hopefully there will be more "Marys" in the futurel  We can but hope. 
    God bless Michael. 
    I just realized something.  Mom was strikingly beautiful both outside and inside.   The inside counted much more.

  • minimedic says:

    Guns don't kill people. The animals that look like humans and pollute my city with hate, stupidity and complete disregard for anything or anybody but themselves kill people.

    It's these little shitheads that make gun ownership a pain in the ass for us law-abiding citizens trying to protect ourselves from said animals when they decide that they'd rather steal my stuff than work for their own.
    *gets off 2nd Amendment soapbox*

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