“I rather have my house robbed, than have someone with a gun watch my neighborhood. And I, especially, rather have it robbed, than hearing of a teenager losing their life simply for standing their ground.” ~Darryl Duke
That quote may have been written out of anger over a recent sensationalized shooting of a teenager because they “looked suspicious,” however, this avoidable tragedy, and that’s what it was, fills my heart with great sadness. I had the good fortune of working with troubled teenagers, and some of them are still in my life today. Although they did things that were wrong, and some occasionally put themselves in harm’s way, many of them were able to turn their lives around with help from me and others, who understood why teenagers think and react the way they do.
Besides a still developing part of their brain that controls reasoning and helps them think before they act, a lot of these young men grew up in an environment that did little or nothing for their self-esteem, and never received the type of parenting they needed to learn how to navigate through life and make better choices.
That’s why I strongly feel that if someone is on a neighborhood watch, they needn’t carry a gun. Instead, they need to understand what can happen when a teenager, or anyone for that matter, is followed and approached in an aggressive manner.
After all, it’s a neighborhood watch. Not a neighborhood follow and confront!