Saturday night June 5/6 2014 in Indianapolis
This blog is not about diabetes. I am sorry to write it here, but this is where I blog and I am afraid this topic is so important that I just cannot ignore it. Over this past weekend Indianapolis experienced two incidences of violence that simply have taken my breath away.
The first occurred in Broad Ripple a normally safe little spot on the near Northside of the city where a twenty something crowd gathers to enjoy an active very nice nightlife. Apparently at around 2 AM at one of these twenty something’s bumped into another on a crowded sidewalk. The result was a shootout that resulted in the wounding of 7 people including the two shooters. These people were simply enjoying a night out that could have occurred in a small area next to a typical college campus.
It was simply a crazy mix of flash anger, testosterone and of course alcohol mixing to make a small offense a very big deal. One has to ask why? Well first, of course it was 2:30 AM. My first thought was what my mom always said nothing good happens after midnight. I think more often than not that is true. However, I do know some great things that have happened after midnight so I guess I move back and forth on that one. (Sheryl went into labor for our first after midnight so good things do happen). Second it is a society that promotes the use of weapons to solve problems. No offense here but it was a bump not a smack, hit or big push. Does someone really need a weapon to solve that sort of offense? Surely not.
Notice here I am not ranting about guns. That is too easy to point out and in this environment it will not be solved. What do I think can be done? It seems to me Indiana should close the bars earlier on Sunday morning. We currently close bars at 3 AM perhaps local ordinance legislation needs to be allowed. At present a locality cannot alter the state alcohol laws to fit local needs. There is a call for the removal of traffic on the street. This would allow the crowd to disperse into the street at busy times and thus ease the congestion that sounds reasonable. Bar owners might complain after intoxicated patrons like to park close. Wait that sounds crazy right? Anyway, this is a local issue and the village (as Broad Ripple is termed) needs to get things going and quickly in order to insure continued profitability. Here is a link to the article in the Indianapolis star this morning, July 7, 2014.
The second incident also happened Saturday night and is more complicated. An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer was shot and killed in a gun battle that is difficult to explain. In this case Officer Perry and another officer we dispatched to a shots in progress issue and they waded into firefight in a neighborhood. It eventually took a third officer to stop the issue, but in the meantime Officer Perry Renn was in the hospital where he later succumbed to his wounds.
Officer Renn was reportedly one of the really good officers. The sort of guy you want to call if you were ever in a jam. He won the IMPD medal of bravery for saving a mentally unstable man who had a gun held to his head. He enjoyed patrolling, meeting people and doing his very dangerous job. Officer Renn was the sort of guy most police forces want in their ranks.
There are no easy answers in this case. In America police officers no matter where they work face this problem. My country seems to cherish weapons more than common sense, and even if they didn’t the number of guns on the street will never be reduced to a level that would prevent this kind of outcome. So I will not campaign against guns or for tougher gun laws. Tougher laws simply would not have made a difference. After all we already lock up a larger percentage of adults than virtually any other country. Making guns illegal would simply require us to lock up more. I mean we need to get over any notion this can be stopped with gun control legislation.
What might make a difference is a better system of incarceration. Making violent criminals different than theft, and drug related crimes might help. Perhaps improving community mental health is an option? Or maybe better access to county health systems in general would make our society less likely to have a shoot first suffer the consequences later mentality
To view the story this morning (July 7, 2014) in the Indianapolis Star you can follow this link.
And with that I will get off my soap box. Yes I said at the top I know this site is about diabetes so I hope you will indulge this diversion. I hope if you are upset that I wrote it and posted it you will understand that diabetes is a broad topic and as a diabetic blogger I could not allow the events of this weekend to pass without comment. Believe me I get the importance of this space, and I promise to not make such diversions a normal excursion. Thanks for the indulgence. Writing blogs like this help to ease a heavy heart for the people and events that happened in a region I call home.