Another awful juvenile arrest story
The Kansas City Star
Thankfully, the 2-year-old boy who was shot in the back while watching TV in his living room is doing well. But this story is a tragedy that began long before somebody fired a bullet into a home at the 1600 block of Topping Avenue on Friday morning.
Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy in connection with the shooting. No matter how often we hear about these things, they never lose their shock value. Nor should they. Anybody who cares about children and safety and an orderly society has to marvel that a 14-year-old was running around the streets of Kansas City on a school day with a loaded gun.
The boy also had a gun on him when police picked him up on Tuesday, officials said. Where does a 14-year-old even find a gun? It’s all speculation at this point, but we again face the dismaying reality that there are homes and entire neighborhoods where criminal activity is rampant and guns are an essential accessory for aggression, protection or both. It would be easy for a 14-year-old to get his hands on a gun if older people in his orbit have them and leave them around.
“I need to know why,” the 2-year-old’s mother told a TV reporter on Tuesday. Yes, why? Why would someone shoot into a home of people who apparently were just trying to go along with their lives and business?
If police have the right suspect, the mom is not likely to ever get an answer to her question. Lots of kids at 14 aren’t especially rational, and chances are the circumstances in this young man’s life haven’t created an effective moral filter. If the young suspect turns out to have been the shooter, chances are he has no idea why he shot across a yard filled with toys. And he is likely to spend many wasted years wondering the same thing as the young victim’s mother.