On Hearing Gunshots on a Summer Night

March 23, 2016

"I realized that I feel the deepest pain and sympathy for whoever it was holding the gun, pulling the trigger."

 

Two years ago on one of the first warm nights of Spring, I sat in my south Evanston apartment with windows and doors wide open. All of sudden four gunshots blasted right outside and I found myself on the ground in my own home while my fiance grabbed the phone to call 911.

 

Once we saw the lights from police cars in the windows we went outside and saw a young man from our community laying on the ground, weeping in a puddle of his own blood. He was taken to intensive care at St. Francis hospital and as far as I know he survived.

 

What that experience made evident to me is that the victims and perpetrators of violent crimes are certainly not the only ones affected. For the first time ever I became acutely aware of the fact that every time I hear sirens while out and about there is very likely someone from my community in pain and in deep fear in some scary and potentially critical situation somewhere near.

 

Somehow that wasn't clear before. I'd become numb to how much happens all the time.

 

As I reflected over the weeks and months that followed the shooting outside my home, I realized that I feel the deepest pain and sympathy for whoever it was holding the gun, pulling the trigger. I recognize that it must be nothing short of terrifying to sincerely believe that perpetrating such horrific acts will somehow make any situation better.

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