This week in Houston there was a terrible tragedy. A 16-year-old girl and an 18-year-old boy were shot and killed at a girl’s 18th birthday party. Apparently in the festivities, which included 100 young people, someone thought it was a good idea to shoot into the air in celebration. That act led another person to shoot into the crowd. The gunmen were ages 17 and 22. What bothered me the most was the fact that the girl giving the party stated that her guests were patted down and frisked at the door. The two shooters apparently refused the pat down, jumped a fence and snuck into the party.
Holy crap — what has happened to our youth? I remember teen parties and the biggest problem we faced were the kids who raided their parents’ liquor cabinets and got stupid drunk.
I can’t recall one tragedy as a teen that involved guns.
Seniors would come to school during hunting season with a shotgun in their truck window rack.
No one freaked out and events like Columbine were unheard of. Firearms were respected and not made taboo. When did it all change?
Wilmington is a hornet’s nest of gun violence right now. Daily news reports spread the word of armed robberies. There is gang violence with battles for territory to sell heroin. This isn’t Hollywood folks; this is in our backyard and moving closer every hour. Don’t let your guard down for a minute, and don’t be foolish enough to think that your children or your neighbors children are immune to the draw of these violent groups.
It costs nothing to be proactive — just pay attention. Make yourself familiar with your neighbors, be wary of strangers and if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you live alone or somewhere off the beaten path, make sure you have someone you check in with. Most police departments will be more than happy to check on you or a loved one if they are asked. If you have a dog and he barks, see what it is since their job is to warn you — except for my Chihuahua who barks at everything. If you see someone that doesn’t belong, call the police. Better to be safe than sorry.
Remember knowledge is power, and you are your first line of defense.
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Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.