Predicting a murder in the City of St. Louis is easier and more accurate than forecasting the weather. If I could place a bet down in Vegas, or one of our local casinos here in St. Charles County, Missouri, I’d be a richer man. My accuracy on a murder forecast would be a 100% probability, and I’d be 100% accurate each and every night.
Blaming killings on the gun is an old, tired excuse. God forbid it could not be a person problem, a behavioral problem if you will. Many of these murders happen in the very late night or early AM morning hours. I remember in the day, we had curfews in our small town of Union, MO. If a police officer saw me and my friends walking the streets after midnight (or maybe it was 11:00PM) they’d stop, roll down their window and say “boys time to get home, do it on your own or I’ll take you”! My mother would often say “…..nothing of any good happens after midnight when you are out and about, so get you’re tail home.” Mom wasn’t always right but she was right about that. Now mind you, my mom and dad (and my friend’s parents) didn’t just let us leave the house late at night to roam around. If we left for some kind of event or activity earlier in the day, they told us when they expected us to be home, and we usually got home on time, or our dads would come looking for us. However, occasionally my friends and I camped out for the night, and yes we might risk an officer pull over. We’d sometimes walk to the nearby laundry mat and get some candy and a soda (some of you may call it pop) from the vending machine. If an officer saw us, he’d see our innocent behavior, confirmed by the purchase we carried in our hands. He’d also see we were walking in the direction of our homes. No harm, no foul! “Just hurry along boys!” I’m not saying we were perfect little angels. Once in awhile we’d raid veggie gardens at night. Some of our neighbors had nice tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. They made for nice midnight snacks. We only did that a couple of times and always from someones garden we knew, so as not to get into too much trouble if we got caught, which we never did. That was pretty much the extent of our juvenile bad behavior. We didn’t carry guns looking for someone to kill for the thrill or because it was a requirement from our little neighborhood gang. If anything, if we saw something that shouldn’t happen, we said something; aside from our few and in between potato and tomato thefts of course. (oh and by the way, we never took that many that could be noticed, you couldn’t even tell any had been taken from the vine).
Back when I was a kid growing up, we more resembled “The Little Rascals” or “Our Gang” TV classics than today’s late night/early morning news. We were more likely to be pulled by the ears and drug home by mom, dad or an adult neighbor/friend, for breaking out a window from a baseball than shooting someone (and certainly not raiding a garden).
Growing up is sure different today than it once was! Our store merchants let us soap their windows on Halloween (they had them prepped for easy cleaning), just don’t throw eggs and you won’t get into trouble. What has happened? Broken homes, low church attendance……….poverty, education system issues (high school drop outs). Could it be we have some really serious social problems, which nobody wants to discuss. Its easier to blame something materialistic or manufactured, than to blame the MIND (individually and collective whole of society). Let’s just continue to blame rather than solve, that way we can still have those news broadcast the media loves to report on. Bad news carries more attention and a greater audience. Bad stuff sells, along with stupidity. Isn’t there a behavioral issue there? I see one.