The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Is This Info Even Useful? And Why or Why Not?

Need confirmation that guns are a big problem in the Borough of Kings? Check out the interactive map that's provoking lots of droopy-dog head-shaking all over the country. The Q took three screen shots at three different zoom levels to give you a sense of how we shape up in the gun violence department. I'll start with the tightest shot and move out. Note that red tags are gun deaths and orange "just" shootings. The greens mean there are more than one (usually 2) within a tight enough range that you couldn't distinguish them as two.

What do we learn? Well, even taking into account the lower density, I think it's fair to say that you have almost ZERO chance of getting shot in Park Slope. Shocking isn't it? This is just one year mind you, but in my 30 years of living in Brooklyn I don't recall a shooting epidemic in the Slope, even during Crack. I recall a groper or two, and a lot of iPhone muggings.

The second thing you notice is that there's nothing particularly special about YOUR area, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy. We all seem to be equally adrift in the same melange of the three G's. Guns, Gentrification and Gouging. (It's a stretch I know, but the gouging happens in all manner of ways from housing to staples and even expectations, and most importantly, it starts with the letter G).

The third thing, and I really didn't expect to see this connection...shootings most often happen on the major avenues and at intersections. Admit it, you hadn't thought of that before either! As always, mass shootings are barely a dent in the overall shooting statistics here and nationwide. It's the day in day out resorting to guns to deal with conflict - domestic, gang, adolescent - that really takes a toll.

Many folks are finally realizing that while the flamboyant killings garner the attention, the real epidemic facing young men, mostly black young men, involves something that our culture is unwilling or unable to do. A health emergency needs the right kind of experts, doctors and care. And what sort of care? Jobs. Dignity. Mentorship. Respect. Hope. Love. Community. And yeah, discipline where and when appropriate. We have, as they say, either a long way to go or not far at all. The choice belongs to the adults. For now, we're not showing a whole hell of a lot of courage. Or wisdom. Or even, I would argue, concern.


JoeyDucks said...

Not only have I thought about the avenues being more dangerous but my wife has implored me to not walk down Flatbush walking home from the subway. She also instructs our babysitters to do the same. The reason is that we get the same spot crime emails you do and the pattern is pretty clear.

Anonymous said...

It can't just be a difference in demographics of residents that create such a profound difference between Park Slope and PLG/Crown Hts. To go from zero, to that many just crossing the park, please. It's about the difference in our respective police precincts and city councilpeople.

Brenda from Flatbush said...