Thursday, October 11, 2007


In 1965 I graduated from high school. We never had to worry about someone coming to school with a gun, never even thought about it. Our biggest concern was what we were going to do on the weekend and whether or not we would be able to get some beer, maybe even cop a feel during a slow dance after the game, at one of the Melco dances in Lemoore or at the Rainbow Ballroom in Fresno. You know, teenage stuff, a fist fight or two during the year was not abnormal.

When we moved to the midwest 10 years ago from gang ridden Northern California it felt like we moved onto the Happy Days set. Richie, Ralph, Potsie and Mr. & Mrs. Cunningham were everywhere. Even Joannie and the Fonz were here. No one attempted to cross 6 lanes of I-80 during the morning rush hour to gain membership in whatever gang was in favor. Everyone left their windows open. Garage doors were open all the time and nothing was ever taken but everything is different now.

Doors and windows are shut tight, break-ins are rampant and just across the river there is at least one shooting every night, even during the day. Six year old chidren are dying, guns go to more schools than to a duck pond and every one but me here seems to go duck hunting. The only thing that has not happened here yet is a school shooting. There have been lockdowns but nothing has left the chamber. Sadly, there will be a time when it will happen here also.

The question is, what has changed? Why has our gentle nature become filled with rage? What can we expect 42 years from now? Every school here has a police presence now, will there be armed soldiers escorting those willing to risk attending? What about the teachers, will anyone want the job? It seems that turn the other cheek has been left behind and now we can only hope that someone doesn't turn the gun in our direction. Don't leave home without it has become don't leave home at all.

1 comment:

sybil law said...

I wish I had a definitive answer. There are probably many. one being that many kids were never taught to turn the other cheek.
Sad. And super scary for me, and Cami, with kids.