The cops said the shooting — several rounds from an AK-47 in broad daylight — was drug-related. Around here, that’s about like saying the heat is sun-related. Drugs just never seem to bring out the best in people.
Nevertheless, there’s this shrine. The victim had some people who cared about him. A couple of “I ♥ Dad” ornaments suggest he was a father, if not a husband. All the flags hint at some streak of patriotism. There’s a little “Happy Birthday” ornament in there too. I think that’s when the shrine went up, on the guy’s birthday. Hell of a way to spend it, haunting the corner of 4th and Walnut.
This shrine bothers me for a number of reasons. First, it’s an eyesore. It’s like somebody tipped over a clearance table at Party Town. Second, it’s a daily reminder that a certain thug who doesn’t mind spraying bullets on a residential street is still out there — a crime like this, nobody talks to police. Finally, it’s publicly honoring a life that, judging by how it ended, seems almost totally wasted.
I know: The guy had a family, and a family has to mourn. I just don’t get this practice of erecting memorials along public thoroughfares where people manage to get themselves killed. It’s like a public statement that the moment of death — no matter how banal the circumstances — merits more notice than the life.
People should probably go to church more. Acquire some ways to cope with loss that don’t involve a visit to Party Town.