A baby was shot in the head this week as his mom pushed him in a stroller down the sidewalk in Brunswick, Georgia. The perpetrators are a mystery, save for this: both were mere children themselves. What is going on, America?
If we have babies killing babies, is anyone safe? Not until these kids are found. America, it's time to step up.
According to the reports, Sherry West was pushing her 13-month-old in a stroller when she was approached by two kids, one around 10, the other no older than 15. The boys demanded she give them money, and when West said she didn't have any, they shot both her and her little boy.
The baby died of a gunshot to the head. West is recovering from a gunshot to her leg.
Now there's a massive manhunt going on down in the small Georgia city. The cops have put out a plea for "anything and everything."
As the city's mayor, Bryan Thompson, told reporters:
This is obviously just a terrible day in the city of Brunswick. Please call if you know something. You are complicit in this crime.
His comments really hit home for me because they're aimed at galvanizing a city. Just one little boy died. But this horror isn't Sherry West's alone.
When kids are committing crimes this heinous, it's the problem of an entire community. It's a problem because kids are unpredictable, and we don't know what might happen next. It's a problem because they're just kids, and they can't be treated like an adult offender. It's a problem because within that community young killers are being bred.
America, it isn't enough to be shocked by these atrocities and move on. It's time we do something about them.
We need to get involved. We need to stand up and say something when we see something -- after a crime, yes, but before too. A kid who is a killer is a kid who was failed along the way.
Let's respond to this shooting now. Let's help the family of this little boy.
And then the real work will begin ... because we must not let the anger, the horror we feel today fade into oblivion. Like the ongoing battle over guns that has come out of Sandy Hook, we must find a way to use this horror to change the lives of children on the verge.
Is it in reworking the child welfare system? Is it in giving parents more support? Maybe both and probably more.
Once we find these kids, we'll be able to delve into what put them on this course ... and what course corrections we can make for other kids. Because this cannot happen again.
Are you ready to act?
Image via hyku/Flickr