Columbine, Connecticut

On April 20th, 1999, two teenage boys, ages 18 and 17, shot at a group of people. In the end, they killed 13 people, injured another 24, and then committed suicide. It took place at a high school in Colorado and made national headlines.

On Junes 16th, 2006, two teenage boys, ages 17 and 16, shot at a group of people. In the end, they killed a thirteen-year-old girl, and injured two other girls. It took place in New Haven, Connecticut and hasn’t made national headlines.

What is different about these two incidents? The second shooting took place at night and wasn’t at a school. Only one person was killed, instead of 13, and the assailants did not commit suicide. Yet local papers report that this is part of the senseless violence that has resulted in twenty people being shot, three fatally in Connecticut.

I have a daughter who will turn 13 next month. I cannot imagine the horror and outrage I would have if she were shot down the way Ms. Cole was shot down. I would expect the outrage to be widespread.

I would expect people to talk on TV about the causes of the shooting and how future shootings could be prevented. Some might blame the violence on TV, or in video games, or in various forms of music. They would lead efforts to address these causes by calling for a chip to be put in TVs to prevent youngsters from watching inappropriate shows, they would try to ban or at least limit the sale of violent video games and they would rail against musicians with lyrics they didn’t approve of.

So, what is different here? Well, Jujuana Cole was black. She lived in an area where there are not enough jobs and where people are poor.

We need people that will fight against the conditions of poverty with at least the same vigor and vehemence as others have fought to ban violent video games and lyrics they don’t approve of.

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