Well, since its here, I'm gonna use the cliche....
A while back, I went to see Michael Moore’s latest effort Bowling for Columbine and was pretty impressed with the message he was trying to get across. Namely, the problem with guns in America in comparison to other countries of the world and the amount of fear that pervades our society. While I agree with most of Mr. Moore’s opinions on the issue, I thought the movie overplayed on some of the points he was trying to make. That is until today, when I was glancing at the headlines and this caught my eye.
Snowball fight led to girl's shooting
It seems that in Philadelphia, the so-called City of Brotherly Love, a group of girls between the ages of 10 – 15 were having what was described as a “friendly snowball fight”. Apparently, another group of girls of about the same age walked by and one of them was hit by an errant toss. A small scuffle broke out between the two groups but soon dissipated and the two groups of girls went their separate ways. You’d think that be the end of it wouldn’t ya?
Apparently not satisfied with having his daughter hit by an errant snowball, the father of one of the girls, Joseph Best, decided to return to the scene and get his own form of retribution. He confronted the parents of some of the girls and apparently fisticuffs broke out between him and some of the parents. The cops were called in, broke up the fight and sent Mr. Best on his way. You’d think that be the end of it wouldn’t ya?
Apparently STILL not satisfied, Mr. Best returned to the scene in his car a couple of hours later. This time he was packing a gun. As he drove by the group of girls playing in the street, he opened fire and squeezed off five shots into the group of kids. For one of those kids, that looks like it might be the end of it.
For you see, one of the shots managed to find its way into the head of a 10 year old girl who had nothing to do with the incident. As of this writing, she is in critical condition. Mr. Best has been apprehended with charges pending. It is not known if he has retained or been provided a lawyer. If the details of the case are true, I hope a long prison sentence marks the end of it for Mr. Best.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I’m noding the news and there are probably greater tragedies going on the world but Goddammit, it was a freakin’ snowball fight between a bunch of kids. And yes, I know, people get shot over things of similar or less importance everyday. And yes, I know, Mr. Best might represent a small percentage of responsible gun owners who wouldn’t think of committing such an act. And yes, I know, that chances are he was in illegal possession of the gun he used to fire into a crowd of kids. And yes, I know, these are tough times that require tough actions. And yes, I know, some other tragedy is likely to occur either today or in the near future that will make this incident pale in comparison.
Tell all that to the parents of a 10 year old girl who lies in the hospital with a bullet in her head because she wanted to go out and play in the snow.