Photo courtesy of Coleman Communications

Gunshots Fired In My Neighborhood, and Lots of Lives Forever Changed

By Michael P Coleman

In the hours after a dozen or so gunshots ran out in the middle of the night in my cozy neighborhood on the outskirts of Sacramento, more lives than the two taken by gunfire were lost.

I was born and raised just outside of Detroit, a town that has struggled against a decades-old “Murder Capital Of The World” moniker.

I live a ways away from the maligned “South Sac” that many of my neighbors decry. It’s another area with a reputation for being riddled with drugs and crime.

I’m dozens of miles away from Stockton and Modesto, the former being a more current national “Murder Capital,” and the latter being jokingly referred to as “Methdesto” by some, due to its reputation for rampant drugs.

Until earlier this week, typical problems in my neighborhood of 11 years had been a neighbor’s incessantly barking dogs, other neighbors’ loud backyard music during Saturday afternoon barbecues, and a sorority house that gets a little rowdy on Saturday nights toward the end of each semester.

So a couple of mornings ago, I wasn’t ready for the sight of yellow caution tape that blocked the path of my early morning constitutionals of the last decade. I used to walk both dogs down that street, until it dead ends at a park that’s adjacent to a vibrant elementary school. My former four legged walking buddies are gone now, but my walking habit persists. It’s great for my cardiovascular and behavioral health.

Read the balance of freelance writer MPC’s column here.


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