Keeping the lid on anger, vengeance and violence

June 5, 2010
By

The shooting death of a 14 year-old Dorchester youth – he was riding his scooter when two men approached him and one held him and the other shot him several times in the chest – has once again shocked most civilized people living in Boston.

It has also shocked those of us living outside of Boston in communities that are not immune to savage crimes such as the one described above.

Making matters worse, is that an off-duty Boston police officer witnessed the crime and could not move because he would have been shot, too.

Two Dorchester young men are being held for the crime – a 16 year- old and a 20 year old. DA Dan Conley said the 16-year -old will be tried as an adult.

I totally agree.

Three people were murdered in Boston during the past five days.

The murders are mostly taking place in Dorchester.

How is it, I wonder, that Chelsea has escaped such a scourge of violent and senseless murders?

Chelsea has so far experienced two homicides this year.

It appears one of them might have been gang related.

However, Chelsea’s good luck in escaping the almost day to day homicidal, gang incited mayhem affecting Boston is due to city hall.

The power of Chelsea city hall is everywhere in this city.

City hall’s understanding of the city allows for the police department to do what it must in order to maintain the peace and to control the gangs.

But it isn’t just city hall in Chelsea’s case.

It is everyone working for humanity in this city everyday that keeps the lid on anger, vengeance and violence.

ROCA, Centro Latino, the Collaborative, the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, the churches and social clubs and on and on all combine here to snuff out the worst aspects of gang influence and violence.

Why not in Boston where there are so many more resources?

Mayor Menino’s Boston is a superior place but if there is a weakness, it is that 14 year olds riding scooters are being murdered.

In the most recent murder of the 14 year old, the father of the dead boy cried out: “The mayor has to do something to stop the killing.”

Indeed.

At first blush, some of us are inclined to answer the grieving father: “How can the mayor stop the killing?”

But then, that isn’t the right answer.

“How can the mayor allow the killing to go on?” is the correct response.

Chelsea is a smaller world. Much of the city is poor and struggling and prone to gang activity but in the end, Chelsea is a much safer place than Dorchester.

Why?

Because what is going on in Boston would not be allowed to go on here.

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