Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some sayings are worth repeating, again and again

At one point we have got to take responsibility.

For the third time in as many years I'm mourning the loss of someone my age. A friend from childhood was murdered on New Year's Eve. His name was Delano, and he was killed while working as a bouncer in a nightclub. He put out a guy who was unruly, and the guy came back and shot up the club.

Delano died in the shooting and a couple of other people were wounded. All over something stupid. Someone got drunk and out of control, and rather that accept the consequences of his actions and simply he leave, he decided to escalate the situation, to make matters worse. He went and got a gun, came back and began shooting people. Innocent people. Delano was one of three people wounded, and only fatality. He was just doing his job. A job he held to help support his four children. Now he's gone, all over something stupid.

For me the worst part is that Delano died because someone screwed up and couldn't take responsibility for his actions. He could of just went home -- or dare I say, to another party if that was what he was bent on doing. Instead he took a life, and affected many others.

Every time I hear a grief-stricken mom, or an emotional dad, or a young person's tearful plea that "this violence has got to stop" after someone in Detroit was innocently killed I feel hopeless. I have heard "this violence has got to stop" so many times that I wonder if it even registers with most folks. Part of my problem is I worked at a television station where I watched what seemed like nightly reports of shootings for three years. It doesn't always lead if it bleeds, but it seems to more times than not.

And so I found myself saying, "this madness has to stop!" after Delano's murder, as did many of his childhood friends who came lay him to rest. I had a more difficult time than usual making it to yet another service for a fallen friend. In fact I couldn't bear another tragic scene. I know Delano is aware I miss him nontheless. It's worth repeating, again and again -- this has to stop.

The problem is that the plea falls on too many deaf ears.

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