From the lodge….
On a most beautiful cool afternoon in June, my thoughts keep returning to recent disturbing events in the western part of our city, Louisville, Kentucky. Violence was the order of the day as shots rang out and neighbors young and elderly scrambled for a safe place as more young men died and others were injured. An altercation between two women at the same time ended in one pulling a gun and shooting the other. It was sheer bedlam and so senseless, as three people lay dead and three injured.
As time passed, doors opened and reluctantly, residents ventured out to find yellow police tape around areas of their neighborhood and white sheets covering bodies, stilled forever.
This was the neighborhood of my youth, a beautiful serene part of our city. Maybe this is why I feel such sadness; it is still a part of me. It has the streets I walked through to elementary and high school. The streets I rode my blue streak bicycle on and the street where I attended Redeemer Episcopal church. It was the neighborhood of my youth and my coming of age. It was an area of fine vintage homes, wonderful neighbors and loving, caring citizens.
This element of misguided young persons are by no means representative of the citizenship of the western part of our city. The people are still caring and respectful citizens in a neighborhood caught in a collision with the more complicated world we now live in. Louisville is no different than all major cities across our country. We used to settle our confrontations with our knuckles, fists and, at times, even reasoning.
Now guns are more prevalent than fleas on a dog. I am tired of hearing “guns don’t kill–people kill.” The bullet that comes out of the barrel of the gun is a lot more lethal than my pointing my finger at you and saying “pow, you’re dead.”
I am encouraged that several committees have been appointed to study the situation and develop strategies to address the problems. However, I also wonder if a committee of the affected young people could offer some valuable input to the discussion.
Again it seems we are acting out of reacting because I feel sure the Boys and Girls Club in Portland and the St. Anthony Learning Center had made it be known that their resources were running out, yet it took a waste of human life for the funds to surface. Maybe the adult leadership, businesspeople, ministers and others could learn if they took time to listen to the young people – they too have have something valuable to say if someone will listen.
The Western part of Louisville is too great a neighborhood to be written off, labeled or ignored. I have faith, as an area still made up of good folks, they will rise together like a Phoenix to meet these challenges.