“We can’t expect that imposing a curfew is going to stop some 15-, 16-, 17-year-old from bringing a gun to anywhere,” he said at an afternoon City Hall news conference. “On the other hand, we should be able to expect parents not to have their 13-year-old children on the Plaza getting shot.”That's the Kansas City mayor talking. I don't know anything about who he is or what he stands for, but I think he's right on the mark as far as where the root of the problem lies: parents, get ahold of your kids.
The shootings occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday near 47th and Wyandotte streets. When shots rang out — witnesses reported hearing five or six — James was about 50 yards away. His two bodyguards pushed him to the ground and drew their guns.The mayor got an up close view of what I am now considering to be modern teen violence. As a parent, I would not allow my teenage kids to be wandering about at night in the middle of a plaza crowded with unruly kids and known for violence.
“They basically forced me into the flowerbeds by the Cheesecake Factory,” James said.
He was uninjured. But two boys and a girl — 13, 15 and 16 years old — were wounded. A bullet grazed the girl’s face, and the two boys were shot in their legs, police said. None of the injuries was life-threatening. James said all three youths were in stable condition on Sunday.
The first notable occurrence was on April 10, 2010, when as many as 900 youths, some as young as 11, converged on the shopping and entertainment district that Saturday night. Police responded to reports of vandalism and assaults. One group of teens robbed and beat a couple from Grandview. A girl in a prom dress was shoved into a fountain. Fights broke out.In my experience, large groups of teenagers wandering about on their own program will find trouble to get into. When I was a teen, my friends and I would hang out in the woods by a bonfire or at a lake, and it was not uncommon for a police officer to stop by and make sure we weren't causing trouble. I can't recall a time when they were not fair to us, it being a minor inconvenience, and looking back I would expect the cops to make ensure nothing bad was being done.
Circo, the mayor pro-tem, was at James’ side on Sunday as the mayor acknowledged that while more youth activities would give kids more things to do, it was not the city’s responsibility alone. Churches, schools and businesses, also, need to get involved, he said. But most of all he blamed parents for allowing their children to roam unattended late into the night at the Plaza and other gathering places in the city.Yes. I agree one hundred percent. If parents really are dropping their kids off into this situation and aren't heeding the blatant notice that city officials are giving to take control of the situation, than they deserve whatever outcome the city decides. If you do not control yourself, you will be controlled - a maxim of law.
“We have a youth problem on the Plaza, but first and foremost we have a parent problem,” he said.
There may be more underlying problems that didn't make it into this article, but to me it sounds like the city government is placing the proper folks on notice to get their act together or the city will do it for them. When little Johnny comes home with tales of being violated by the cops while mobbing at the plaza late at night, you can bet the parents will be outraged. Another consideration is that while teens around the country are robbing and assaulting en-mass, armed folks are taking notice and it's only a matter of time before a large group of kids tries to lay hands on the wrong victim.
Checking out that video, the cops are putting people on notice that if their kids are part of the trouble makers, they could be shot by an average joe. Now I think it's deplorable Captain Rhodes calls being armed against violence being a "vigilante", as that is petty statement. As for his cellphone vs handgun comment, and "which one are you going to chose", how about stuffing a cellphone in your holster, sport, and then go about trying to stop a violent scumbag. Not going to work out so well, is it?
He is letting the populace know though that average people are carrying guns and are scared of these mobs of teens. Teenagers are generally not smart enough to see the danger they are putting themselves in, so it's up to their parents to have a sit down with them and tell it like it is. Your kid may be good and all, but things may change when he or she gets into the company of other teens.
***Update: Another Gun Blog has a link to a video/news article about a home owner in Kansas City who was threatened by an angry group of teenagers, and they fled when he came out of his house with a Mosin Nagant in hand. No actual force necessary.