Sunday, September 09, 2007

Family-Friendly Gangsters

We've been talking about the challenges and expense of moving from our merely pleasant home to a bigger place with a dazzling school district. I remembered back to a dinner party a few years ago, where friends compared their hip urban neighborhoods and put our little dilemma into perspective.

Ara was saying that they had a resident gang, but fortunately, the merchandise of choice was merely stolen cars, not drugs. Also, they were a Latino gang, so the members were big on promoting family and community.

She reported that gang members don't carry their firearms, because getting busted with a weapon is a serious charge. Instead, they stash them all around the area, within easy reach in case of an altercation. After local children found a couple of guns while playing, their families felt compelled to take action.

They sent their mediator to meet with the gang. (I love it that there's an official neighborhood-gang relations manager.) The leaders got the point immediately – of course, they didn't want to endanger any children. They passed out new marching orders: "Stash your guns higher," out of reach of the children.

I just kept my mouth shut after that story. Our tame, dull suburban woes couldn't top that one.

And in a totally unrelated story, Q requested a Lego helicopter this morning and then rolled his truck up to it, making hissing noises.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Issa gas truck!"

The boy's after my heart, already working out infrastructure requirements at such a tender age.

8 comments:

Kimberly said...

I kinda want to live in Ara's neighbourhood :) That's some civic minded, community oriented juvenile delinquency, yo!

And Q is such a little geek! It warms my heart. My girls would gas up the helicopter. They'd give it a blanky and a helicopter manicure :)

(oh, it's still me, btw. Just a new link! squee!)

Mamacita Tina said...

"Stash your guns higher," oh my gosh. Yeah, that's the answer to keeping guns out of children's hands. Uh, kids climb and are naturally curious.

I haven't noticed any gang activity in our area, but I do know houses have been busted for drugs. It doesn't matter where you live, there's always criminal activity to some degree.

Legos, we love legos, I need to do a post about Legoland, so much fun!

mayberry said...

I'm feeling the urge to hum something from West Side Story right about now...

YF said...

that story reminds me of a camping that always makes me laugh. my good friends kid was playing w/ an axe. "Hey, he's got an axe" - she looked over and yelled at her son to put some shoes on. Still makes me laugh.

TB said...

My husband and I have always been urban hipsters, living in downtown neighborhoods within walking distance of shopping, bars and restaurants. We lived with our share of crime, but it just came with the territory.
Now, we live in the suburbs and not just the suburbs, in a golf course community (I'm still embarassed to say it sometimes).
But we chose this neighborhood because it's going to be a great, safe place for Myles to grow up.
Who knew just how much kids would really change us!
Also, I just figured out what your URL meant after having read Dr. Seuss to my son the last few days.

my minivan is faster than yours said...

Wow, I'm not sure what I was expecting to read over here today, but I sure did get my money's worth. Gangs, eh? We don't have anything cool like that here!

Lady M said...

Kimberly - a blanky and manicure, so cute!

Mamacita tina - oooh, Legoland! We're planning a trip next time we visit our folks.

Mayberry - musical and family friendly!

yf - that axe story is so funny!

tb - Watch out for those golf balls - they can be hazardous. :0

minivan - yeah, we're not as cool out here in the suburbs, either, thank god!

Damselfly said...

Anything for the kids, huh?