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DC – GUN CRIME – Take guns off D.C.’s streets? No, take shooters off the streets

I am fully prepared to entertain the argument that the persons who fired the weapons Wednesday night in Southeast D.C., which struck a vehicle multiple times and killed 15-month-old Carmelo Duncan, strapped in a car seat next to his 8-year-old brother, were emerging adults — which is to mean youths, perhaps well into their 20s, who generally display greater risk-seeking behavior, who are susceptible to peers, stress and excitement, and who have a diminished capacity for self-control. If you tell me, once we learn who they are, that because of their ages the shooters are less cognitively developed than full-grown adults, are more impulsive, less emotionally mature and less cognizant of the consequences of their actions, I won’t argue. If you add that they aren’t engaged in school or work, or that they struggle with mental health conditions or substance-abuse issues, or lack supportive relationships with family and other caring adults, and may often experience homelessness, I’ll take your word for it. And I will listen carefully should you wish to make the point that the shooters are developmentally and neurologically distinct from older adults, that their brains are continuing to develop, particularly in the prefrontal cortex region, which regulates impulse control and reasoning, among other things. But, now, listen to me: I want them caught. I want them read their rights and immediately placed in a secure and restricted environment. I want them to be accorded all the rights and privileges pertaining to someone in detention. But I want them — for the sake of all the toddlers, parents and neighbors walking the streets or riding in cars or just trying to survive and get by — put as far away and for as long as the law will allow.  [full article]


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