by Jacob Miles
No teenager can feel safe in Oakland nowadays.
Just a few days after McClymonds dropout and homicide victim Darvel McGillberry was buried, violence erupted again in Oakland. Another teen was killed: 17-year-old David Manson Jr. in front of a store in East Oakland during the daytime.
A second shooting occurred at a sideshow frequented by high school students.
A third incident — a triple shooting– took place outside a downtown nightclub which McClymonds students have frequented.
“In front of a store, at a sideshow, in front of a nightclub, no place is safe,” said Desire Combs, a senior at McClymonds. “I think this is ridiculous: we should be able to feel safe everywhere in our own city,” she said.
That’s not the case in Oakland, where the violence is on the rise. In just one weekend, one person was killed, 11 wounded in seven separate shootings capped by the triple shooting outside a downtown nightclub, police said.
That incident took place in heavily patrolled, gang-neutral, downtown area, when a gunman opened fire on a group of people outside The Shadow nightclub at 13th and Webster. Two women and a security guard suffered non-life threatening wounds and the gunman remained at large, police said.
Lee Benson, a junior at McClymonds, said that he’s been to The Shadow a few times and always had a premonition that something bad might happen in that area. “A lot of the wrong people end up there,” he added.
This week, teens left flowers, candles and you’ll-be-missed cards at the 9100 block on International Boulevard, where David Manson Jr. was killed about 1:45 p.m. Sunday. He was Oakland’s 43rd homicide victim this year.
Students at McClymonds who live in East Oakland knew Manson, who attended Oakland High School in June 2011.
“David was cool and it’s real sad how they shot him like that in daylight; he didn’t do nothing to nobody,” said Monte Smith, a junior.
What has been the police response? A vow to crack down on sideshows. What about community outreach, more activities for youths, such as new libraries and also community recreational places to hang out at.
Unless politicians and police develop a real plan, this is the start of a very bloody summer.
Will New Gun Laws in Oakland Make Mack School Students Safer?
by Anthony Beron
Will tracking guns reduce violence? Or is this just another unworkable solution?
In Oakland, guns appear and multiply. And get used, over and over again.
At McClymonds, students feel mixed about the effectiveness of proposed assembly bill number 180, sponsored by Rob Bonta, D-Alameda that allows the city of Oakland to pass its own gun regulations. Would it have any impact on the street violence that Mack students witness?
“As younger people in the streets get guns, they don’t wanna settle out a fight with their hands- they just kill with a gun,” declares a solemn-looking Lee Benson.
Gun control remains a major problem in Oakland, especially West Oakland. Five McClymonds High students and alumni were shot in 2012, which is just a fraction of the 1,594 total shooting victims in Oakland last year.
Three hundred and sixty crimes occur per square mile in the “hella” city, which is 320 above the national median according to the website neighborhoodscout. The Business Insider ranked Oakland as the second most dangerous city in the United States as of 2012.
“The main problem with this is if we track guns that will just give people another reason to use them more quickly,” argued Kardel Howard, “they’re defiant, and there’ll be more violent if rules and deadlines are forced onto them.”
Others feel that you just do the math. “Less guns means less violence,” said Jacob Miles, Mack senior.
“’The opponents like to paint it as some unreasonable restriction on gun ownership,’” said California senator Darrell Steinberg to the Sacramento Bee. “’And these bills are anything but. They are drawing a very careful distinction between gun ownership for sport, hunting and even self-defense – versus these guns that by definition fire dozens or hundreds of rounds indiscriminately and kill people.’”
Will restrictions work? We will see when (if) this new proposed assembly bill is signed by Governor Jerry Brown by October 13th.
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