A friend of the blog writes:
The past week, neighborhood social media has been worked up over a shot fired at the Hamline light rail station. Reports are varied on what actually happened. And, yes, gun shots and other violence that is caused by gang activity, drug addiction, etc is scary. I really would rather not encounter it. Hundreds of comments blaming the BP gas station.
But, the hysteria reminds me of last year’s frenzy over the Starbucks drive through off of Marshall Avenue. Yes, a bad driver not paying attention can pull out and hit a pedestrian or bicyclist. And it could be a young person who doesn’t quite yet master the skill of looking at the surroundings. It could be an elderly person who can’t move out of the way fast enough.
I wouldn’t want my loved ones to die any of these ways.
What do both of these have in common? In both cases, the pitchfork crowd is screaming to shut down the business versus deal with the actual problem.
There are bad drivers out there. Ticket them. Fine them. Take away their license. Starbucks and the drive through is not the issue.
There are bad people out there. Arrest them. Rehab them or keep them in jail. Walmart, Taco Bell, BP are not the problems (unless the BP at Hamline is indeed a front, then the franchise owner is also to blame. They are apparently selling something the city council banned, so there is that).
Why can we not admit that there are bad people and we need to do something about them, not everyone?
Ooh! Ooh! I got this one!
Because Saint Paul is run, in effect, by a crowd of biddies and ninnies from Merriam and Highland Parks whose entire frame of reference is organizing to get rid of things in Their Backyards that annoy them.
Hot rods on University Avenue during Back to the Fifties.
Trash truck rolling their alleys.
Any business that crosses them.
Pretty soon, snowplows in the alley.
It’s really all these people know.