What I Hear
Twelve year-old Parma resident Abdel Bashiti, an innocent bystander, was shot and killed in Cleveland on November 25, 2017. I did not know him or his family, and I saw very little in the news about Abdel himself. It seems he was shot, killed, and largely forgotten. The recent school massacre in Parkland, Florida, has generated a huge amount of national news about in-school safety. What is not being discussed is gun violence outside of schools.
Anyone who remotely follows the local news here in Cuyahoga County cannot say there is not a gun problem here, especially in Cleveland itself. Whether in print, online, or on the television news I continually hear about random street shootings, people being shot in their cars, drive-by shootings, and shootings into occupied houses.
So what do I hear about it? Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson tells law abiding people “you don’t understand the culture.” What I hear is someone not only glorifying but being a champion of a lawless society by encouraging thug behavior.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson also continuously says “it is what it is.” What I hear is a politician saying he does not care and he is not going to do anything.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson recommends building dirt bike tracks for the illegal dirt bike riders. He also quickly signs off on monetary rewards for lawless behaviors without even attempting to fight it in court. What I hear is Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson creating a monetary profit for illegal dangerous behavior. The law abiding public be damned.
I see Parma Police cars all the time on Ridge Road running radar, stopping cars, and handing out tickets. The Parma Police Department spends an incredible amount of manpower protecting Parma from the Cleveland lawbreakers. What I hear is the sound of approaching danger.
With all this violence in Cuyahoga County, I have wondered what Ohio Senator Rob Portman is doing about it. What I hear from U.S. Senator Rob Portman is – a statement about putting an age restriction on military assault rifles. What I hear from U.S. Senator Rob Portman regarding the hand guns used in the Cleveland streets – not much.
I understand U.S. Senator Rob Portman accepts money from the NRA. What I hear is another politician counting their blood dollars while actively making it easier for criminals to commit street crime and allowing school massacres to occur.
What do I hear from the law abiding public? Well, very little, perhaps they do not care. And twelve year-old Abdel Bashiti of Parma paid the ultimate price for this public indifference. Your child may very well be the next one.
There are March For Our Lives events on March 24th in Cleveland, Columbus, Washington D.C., and many other cities. Google it to find out more. Will your child be the next one to pay the ultimate price?
Parma resident since 1988.