Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Random gunfire in Oak Cliff bad? Really?

I was so relieved to hear that our new north Oak Cliff leader, city councilwoman Delia Jasso, nipped the "July 4 random gunfire" problem in the bud by issuing a press release telling us how bad random gunfire is. She suggested folks lock away those guns and just be cool, basically. She also suggested we call 911 if we hear random gunfire. There's an idea.

The truth is, I stood a better chance of calling Domino's than 911 when I heard gunshots. At least Domino's would get here in 30 minutes, and we would have had pizza. Jasso should have grabbed the bull by the horns and worked with other Oak Cliff leaders and the police to beef up patrols and enforcement. They should have been on TV the week leading up to the Fourth telling everyone that extra cops would be out to respond quickly. That might have put a little fear into folks.

Instead, I spent the Fourth enjoying brats with family and friends and watching the neighborhood fireworks show (with random gunfire) that goes on every year in the parking lot across from Peabody Elementary near my house. Every year, an unofficial and illegal pyrotechnic demonstration is held, and once you've given up trying to call 911, it is actually enjoyable. With officers overburdened, everyone knows calls won't be responded to. The folks setting off the fireworks don't even try to hide. They sit outside their cars talking with friends and setting off rockets.

I gave up calling 911 about such things last year. After I saw a neighbor shooting bottle rockets at passing cars, I called 911. Eventually, a patrol car came by, and the neighbors responded by shooting a rocket AT THE POLICE CAR. It went off underneath the car with a loud bang and burst of light, and the car kept going. It never stopped. I officially gave up then. Say goodnight Gracie.

If we expect to make Oak Cliff a better place, we must first have lawbreakers believe the law will be enforced. Right now, I don't even believe that. For now, we just enjoy the fireworks.

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