In an op-ed in the Boston Globe today, John Rosenthal writes,
"Obama should also look to see what Menino has done in Boston and what Massachusetts has done overall to reduce gun violence."
Now, with respect to gun violence, I know that other cities are worse off than Boston and that Mayor Menino genuinely cares about getting guns off the street. But, seriously, to argue that Boston is a model for the rest of the nation is a bit of a stretch.
Not only does this imply that we have succeeded, when in reality we still have a long way to go, but it also implies that our level of youth violence is acceptable and that others should aim for it.
In September, reporting that the number of shooting victims under the age of 17 in Boston has tripled in the last five years, the Globe's Milton Valencia wrote:
"In the last three months, a 7-year-old was hit while playing kickball with friends in Mission Hill, a 4-year-old was shot while sitting on his porch in Roxbury, and a 5-month-old was wounded in Mattapan while cradled in her father's arms. Last week, a 16-year-old was shot in West Roxbury, a 17-year-old on his way to school was also shot and wounded in Dorchester, and a 3-month old baby was nearly hit in Dorchester when a bullet pierced her bedroom wall. On Monday, a 17-year-old was shot and killed in Mission Hill."
I don't know what part of the city Mr. Rosenthal lives in, or is writing about, or how many residents from these neighborhoods he has spoken with recently, but I do know that if you tell residents in the Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston (the ones that are scared to let their children outside, or that wake in the night to gunfire, or that have lost a friend or family member to gun violence) that Boston has “reduced gun violence overall” and should be emulated by the rest of the country, they will look at you like you are from Mars.