This was no ordinary drive by shooting (if there can be such a statement even made). 12 shots aimed at a house on a Saturday morning at 5 am. 6 shots were considered to be from a high caliber weapon, 6 shots from a low caliber weapon…perhaps a .22. To make matters worse, a 15 year old boy’s bedroom Â and a 12 year old girl’s bedroom apparently were near the front of the house where most of the bullets hit.
The amazing piece about this story to me is not just the incident itself, but the apparent little reaction I have heard around town since the story printed. 12 shots…this sounds like something that occurrs in Minneapolis or Chicago…not Bemidji, MN. Although it may have happened, I have lived here since 2004 and cannot recall another drive by shooting in the city, yet 12 shots near 2 kids bedroom. At work, among friends, at social and business occassions, not a single comment, not even a sigh of disgust.
A person has to wonder if even we in ourÂ little polished city have become oblivious to this type of behavior. Maybe its because of television, maybe its because the article suggested it possibly was gang related, that we simply shrug our shoulders and allow this to happen.Â While we can fill up a council chamber with 150 peopleÂ and have hundreds more express their outrage at the removal of a fiberglass beaver, we as a city cannot get worked up over a violent criminal act such as this?
This is an election year and our City Council and new Mayor have some major challenges facing them.Â Certainly things such as the Event Center, the unfriendly business environment (i.e.Zorbaz), the state of our downtown area (next blog), the way city government operates (dysfunctional) and economics in general are all on the minds of the electorate. Let’s add to that list with the challenges of crime, gangs, and revitalization of our inner city and its neighborhoods. This is too important of a topic to have it hidden and not admit its challenges. Be disgusted that this happened. Why, who, and what can we do to prevent this?What programs and social services can help out? We are as vulnerable as anyplace in America. Be disgusted.