This little boy was murdered and it appears it was gang-related. His father is a known gang member. Allegedly, at some point, his mother was running in that life, too. So they are to blame because this boy's exposure to gangs resulted in his death, right? That's obvious, right?
But here's the other side of it.
Sitting in my safe house, on my safe street, in my safe neighborhood, it's easy to say, "people need to just say no to gangs."
But try saying that when your whole neighborhood is gang-infested. Try saying that when there is nowhere to escape to. Try saying that when the gangs are at your door, threatening you and your family if you won't run with them.
It's easy to tell someone, "just say no," but just saying no in the real world can get you killed. You won't run with a gang, you are either with their rival gang or worse, you are a narc siding with the cops and ratting people out.
What choice would you make? Be honest. If you grow up in that life, and everyone you know is in that life, how can you even understand that there is something else possible?
It pisses me off that kids grow up and live like that. And it pisses me off that those of us who are removed from it have zero fucking idea what it means to be confronted with that and have no safe choices.
And I haven't a damn clue what to do to change any of it.
And my heart breaks because an innocent nine-year-old boy was executed.
And worse, in a week, we won't even remember his name.