Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cleveland Students Talk About Guns

I posed the question again to another group of students. "What do you think is the reason for all the gun violence in the city lately?"

Once again, the answer was immediate, but this time it was different.


"Can you explain ?"

"Well, if you sell drugs you need a gun, 'cuz you have to protect yourself from the crazy crackheads who buy from you, and you have to protect your money too, because when people know you're sellin' they'll try to jump you for either the drugs or the cash."

"Are guns easy to get in Cleveland?"

"Real easy"

One of the girls who lives in Slavic Village, a neighborhood that has been in the news lately for several violent crimes, walked across the room to join the conversation. "My little brother was playing soldier outside, and he came running in the house with a loaded handgun that he found on the tree lawn."

"Wow! Lucky he didn't shoot someone. What did you do?"

"My mom took it away from him."

"Did she call the police?"

" I don't know."

One of the boys offered, "That gun probably had a body on it. Why else would someone toss it?"

Another boy countered, "Guns with bodies don't get tossed whole, they take 'em apart and get rid of them piece by piece. Throw 'em in the lake."

"How do you know this stuff?" I asked.

"Doesn't everyone?"

"Gee, I must be out of the loop. " I shook my head "What do you know? You can learn something new everyday."

My student's face took on the subtle smirk of superiority. He knew something I didn't. He was smarter than the teacher.
I think that's what they call "street smart."

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