Sunday, February 24, 2013

When Violence Loses

My Letter to the Editor in the February 24, 2013 Indianapolis Star

Random violence won’t keep neighbors inside 

One tile of 100 or so made by students at Indiana School 
for the Deaf placed on an archway along the Monon Rail
Trail just north of 38th Street in Indy.
On Feb. 13, my quiet northwest Indianapolis neighborhood was all over the news because one of our neighbors was shot at from a car while out walking his dog along Dandy Trail. One can imagine how that incident, magnified by broadcast news, struck fear into the hearts of our neighbors and started minds thinking in paranoid ways.

While the shooting could have been tragic, it wasn’t. Rex was treated at the hospital and released. Moreover, the incident was random and beyond anything our neighborhood could have done to prevent or interrupt it.

I reminded my neighbors that we were as safe that night as we were the night or day before. I challenged them to rely on our basic Crime Watch practices and the excellent safety services of our city government. I encouraged them to keep walking their dogs, keep running along Dandy Trail, keep bicycling – to not live the fear they were feeling at the moment. Violence creates far more victims by lives lived in perpetual fear and anger than those whom it initially wounds. It must be defied and denied this crippling victory.

On Feb. 15, I saw the most amazing thing in our neighborhood: Our neighbor who was shot at was again out walking his dog. The TV crews weren’t there to capture that bit of good news. Likely, they were chasing down the next ugly story. But this part of the story is worth telling and sharing because it is about the sanity, courage and confidence of neighbors in spite of violence. 

John Franklin Hay 


Link to the IndyStar posting:

John Franklin Hay 
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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