A 15-year-old boy [from Manchester] is fighting for his life after he was shot five times by a masked gunman in a targeted attack [on Saturday night].
(Via The Guardian)
Unlike the Guardian whose headline for this story was: Boy fights for life after shooting; The Times Online ran the story under this headline: Drug gangs’ turf war blamed for shooting of boys.
Well, this does not sit right with me.
It is a lazy headline. An easy get out clause. The headline lulls us into a false sense of security because the phrases drug gangs and turf war do not constitute everyday parlance in the world of the average Times reader. We can read our broadsheets in peace because we law abiding citizens are not to blame. This type of drama will never seep into our cosy lives.
This glossing over does not work for me.
We are talking about (possibly) five men driving up to a group of school children and opening fire.
We are talking about a 15-year-old boy being shot:
In his chest
In his back
In his groin
In his buttock
In his thigh.
We are talking about a 13-year-old boy who was shot in his lower leg.
We are talking about all those other school children who fled the scene terrified.
We are talking about an incident that took place less than a mile south of the designer outlets, franchised coffee houses and five star hotels that line the streets of Manchester’s city centre.
When school children become the victims of attempted assasinations we have to realise that this problem is much bigger than alleged drugs and gang turf wars.
That this problem is not just about ‘them over there’. It is not about us making excuses.
While the police work to find the perpetrators and establish motive. We all need to do some serious thinking because this is just wrong.