Don’t leave stuff in your car, lest you be rewarded with street diamonds. Glistening blue or black diamonds that shine in the sun on the sidewalk and on the street. The thief who steals the $2.00 charging cord and the $1.85 from the console does not think about the hundreds you shell out to replace the window they broke. Worse is when you do keep everything out of sight but somehow they knew you had something worth taking hidden. Or when the chemically altered brain mistakenly thinks he can sell that radio he pulled from your car, later to find out he wasted his time, and your peace.
This is not about the second amendment.
This is not about gun control laws.
This is about drug dealers on the corner.
The problem, and it comes with every wave of new neighbors, particularly white neighbors, is the idea that the guys on the corner are harmless and have some imagined right to hang about. They are not harmless.
Where there is the business of drug dealing, there is a gun somewhere nearby. A loaded gun, ready to shoot. More than likely an illegal gun where those in possession never bothered to go through the gun safety training class or registration.
Incompetents with guns have have bad aim hitting cars, houses, bystanders, and sometimes their intended target. I remember a daytime shooting many years ago on my street, in front of my house, so this is not theoretical. The shooters shot at a bunch of guys hanging out on the corner (suspected drug dealers) in a drive by from an SUV- Suburban Ussault Vehicle. The shooters managed to hit one guy in the butt and as they traveled down my street they felt the need to shoot several rounds of bullets towards the ground. They managed to damage some cars. I didn’t have a car so, I didn’t care that much. But I do care about an errant bullet wandering into the insides of one of my neighbors or myself (and now as a mom, my family members).
The bad old days of the drug dealers are slowly creeping back into Shaw. The only difference is there are fewer baby mommas’, girlfriends’ and grandmas’ houses to hang out in front of, the plus side of gentrification. So yes, some of the guys may have lived in the neighborhood at one time (as a kid, as a boyfriend, etc) but they don’t live here now. They do not respect the neighborhood, and never did. Don’t feel obligated to make excuses for them.
The worst recently of alley going ons was the attempted armed robbery that happened last weekend. From what I’ve heard, a young guy with a gun tried to rob a Latino construction dude. I sort of heard something around about the time of the robbery, but when I looked out all I saw was one middle aged Latino guy yelling to some unseen guys. I didn’t think too much about it at the time because there are a few construction projects going on. But when I chatted with a couple of neighbors they told me about the attempt. Not sure what foiled the robbery, I guess the alley is a little bit more active (in a good way) than the robber figured on.
The alley now has a few more eyes and a few more people are using the back deck or patio now that the weather is getting nicer. I regularly hear the family across the way entertaining on their deck. The cat ladies several doors down hang out on their deck and I am hearing and seeing them on occasion. There is a house closer to the end that has a roof deck and noticeable it has an excellent view of the corner where the friendly neighborhood dealers have taken a liking to hanging. Decks and gates that give greater visiblity to the alley have placed more eyes in the back.
One neighbor (as we were recounting the robbery attempt to each other) told me how the changing dynamics of the surprised one old bum. It seems the old guy was looking for a place to hide or smoke crack and his old haunt was closed off to him. The neighbor said the guy had this look of annoyance and then surprise when the neighbor (on the other side of the alley with his garage gate up) gave him an “hello.”
During the day, when I was home sick with a cold, I noticed the traffic in my alley. Because of the construction, there are construction guys walking and driving up and down the alley. There is also an employee from the day care talking a smoke/cell phone break pacing up and down. And as usual, school boys, dog walkers, and cyclists cutting through.